WASHINGTON, DC – Local Radio Freedom Act, introduced in late October by Reps. Gene Green (D-TX) and Mike Conaway (R-TX), is now backed by 148 members of the House of Representatives.
"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," reads House Concurrent Resolution 244.
The growing chorus of lawmakers opposing a "performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local radio was announced one day after the Grammy Awards, where Alicia Keys thanked radio stations during her acceptance speech for Best Female R&B Performance.
"I have to thank... every DJ, every radio guy, every promotions guy, everybody who ever put up a poster for me and spread the word," Keys said. Keys was accepting an award for her chart-topping hit, 'No One,' which received significant airplay on local radio stations across the country.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is backing legislation that would require America's hometown broadcasters to compensate the foreign-owned record labels for radio airplay of music. The House version of the RIAA-backed bill was introduced by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Darrell Issa (R-CA). Companion legislation has been offered in the Senate by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
Among the 22 lawmakers to recently add their support for the Local Radio Freedom Act are Reps. Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Barbara Cubin (R-WY), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), John Linder (R-GA), Spencer Bachus(R-AL), Jon C. Porter (R-NV), Greg Walden (R-OR), Rodney Alexander (R-LA), Zach Wamp (R-TN), Thelma D. Drake (R-VA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-MD), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Marilyn N. Musgrave (R-CO), Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), Gary G. Miller (R-CA), Tim Holden (D-PA), Frank D. Lucas (R-OK), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-MI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA).
The number of lawmakers now opposing a performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge on local radio for music airplay totals 148, and includes:
Aderholt, Robert (R-AL)
LaTourette, Steve (R-OH)
Lewis, John (D-GA)
Lewis, Ron (R-KY)
Linder, John (R-GA)
LoBiondo, Frank (R-NJ)
Loebsack, Dave (D-IA)
Lucas, Frank D. (R-OK)
Manzullo, Donald A. (R-IL)
Matheson, Jim (D-UT)
Matsui, Doris (D-CA)
McCotter, Thaddeus G. (R-MI)
McHenry, Patrick T. (R-NC)
McHugh, John (R-NY)
McIntyre, Mike (D-NC)
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy (R-WA)
Mica, John (R-FL)
Michaud, Mike (D-ME)
Miller, Candice (R-MI)
Miller, Gary G. (R-CA)
Moore, Dennis (D-KS)
Moran, Jerry (R-KS)
Murphy, Chris (D-CT)
Musgrave, Marilyn N. (R-CO)
Myrick, Sue (R-NC)
Neugebauer, Randy (R-TX)
Nunes, Devin (R-CA)
Oberstar, James (D-MN)
Ortiz, Solomon (D-TX)
Pascrell, Bill, Jr. (D-NJ)
Paul, Ron (R-TX)
Pearce, Stevan (R-NM)
Pence, Mike (R-IN)
Petri, Tom (R-WI)
Poe, Ted (R-TX)
Pomeroy, Earl (D-ND)
Porter, Jon C. (R-NV)
Price, Tom (R-GA)
Rahall, Nick (D-WV)
Rangel, Charles B. (D-NY)
Ramstad, Jim (R-MN)
Rehberg, Dennis (R-MT)
Reyes, Silvestre (D-TX)
Rogers, Harold (R-KY)
Rogers, Mike D. (R-AL)
Rogers, Mike J. (R-MI)
Ross, Mike (D-AR)
Ruppersberger, Dutch (D-MD)
Ryan, Tim (D-OH)
Scott, David (D-GA)
Sessions, Pete (R-TX)
Shuler, Heath (D-NC)
Shuster, Bill (R-PA)
Simpson, Mike (R-ID)
Sires, Albio (D-NJ)
Souder, Mark E. (R-IN)
Space, Zack (D-OH)
Spratt, John (D-SC)
Stupak, Bart (D-MI)
Sullivan, John (R-OK)
Thompson, Mike (D-CA)
Tiahrt, Todd (R-KS)
Tiberi, Pat (R-OH)
Turner, Michael R. (R-OH)
Walberg, Tim (R-MI)
Walsh, Jim (R-NY)
Walden, Greg (R-OR)
Wamp, Zach (R-TN)
Westmoreland, Lynn (R-GA)
Whitfield, Ed (R-KY)
Wilson, Charlie (D-OH)
Wilson, Joe (R-SC)
Wynn, Al (D-MD)
Young, Don (R-AK)
On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Such statements include:
remains the best way to get new music into the listeners' lives."
--Sony BMG Executive VP Butch Waugh as quoted in Radio & Records, January 11
"[R]adio is the conduit to the people, the voice of the format
and the lifestyle's soundtrack.
--Sony BMG Nashville VP of Marketing Tom Baldrica, as quoted in Radio & Records, January 11
radio is probably the most important thing for a new rock band coming
out. If you don't get yourself on the radio, then you won't draw bodies
at the clubs and you won't sell records."
--'Another Animal' drummer Shannon Larkin, Drum Magazine, 2008
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
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
has proven itself time and time again to be the biggest vehicle to expose
-- Ken Lane, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Island Def Jam Music Group, 2005
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
the most important thing for a label, getting your records played."
-- Eddie Daye, recording artist, 2003
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
-- B.B. King, recording artist, 2002
a song's not on the radio, it'll never sell."
-- Mark Wright, Senior Vice President, MCA Records, 2001
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
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
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.