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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2007
CONTACT
Dennis Wharton
202-429-5350
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NAB Response to RIAA-Backed Performance Tax Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – - NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton released a statement today in response to the introduction of legislation requiring America's hometown broadcasters to compensate the foreign-owned record labels for radio airplay of music. The House version of the bill was introduced by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Darrell Issa (R-CA). Companion legislation was offered in the Senate by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

Countering today's legislation is House Concurrent Resolution 244, introduced in late October, which states, "Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings." To date, the resolution has garnered the support of 119 members of the House of Representatives.

"After decades of Ebenezer Scrooge-like exploitation of countless artists, RIAA and the foreign-owned record labels are singing a new holiday jingle to offset their failing business model," said Wharton. "NAB will aggressively oppose this brazen attempt to force America's hometown radio stations to subsidize companies that have profited enormously through the free promotion provided by radio airplay." On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Such statements include:

"Country radio, thank you so much for being our mouthpiece. You know what we do means nothing if it never gets played, and no one gets to hear it."
-- Rascal Flatts, Vocal Group of the Year, Country Music Awards, 2007

"I can't even believe that this is real... I want to thank country radio. I'll never forget the chance you took on me."
-- Taylor Swift, Horizon Award (for best new artist), Country Music Awards, 2007

"I have yet to see the big reaction you want to see to a hit until it goes on the radio. I'm a big, big fan of radio."
--Richard Palmese, Executive Vice President of Promotion, RCA, 2007

"Radio has proven itself time and time again to be the biggest vehicle to expose new music."
-- Ken Lane, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Island Def Jam Music Group, 2005

"It is clearly the number one way that we're getting our music exposed. Nothing else affects retail sales the way terrestrial radio does."
--Tom Biery, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Warner Bros. Records, 2005

"That's the most important thing for a label, getting your records played."
-- Eddie Daye, recording artist, 2003

"Radio helped me a lot. That's the audience. I can't see them, but I know they're there. I can't reach out and touch them with my hand, but I know they're there."
-- B.B. King, recording artist, 2002

"If a song's not on the radio, it'll never sell."
-- Mark Wright, Senior Vice President, MCA Records, 2001

"Air play is king. They play the record, it sells. If they don't, it's dead in the water."
-- Jim Mazza, President, Dreamcatcher Entertainment, 1999

"I am so grateful to radio. Their support has truly changed my life, and I hope they know how appreciative I am for that."
-- Jo Dee Messina, recording artist, 1999

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.

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