America's public safety infrastructure is at risk if automakers remove AM radio from vehicles. Policymakers should enact the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act (S. 1669; H.R. 3413) to keep this vital service as part of their vehicles to ensure Americans can be alerted to impending danger.Learn More
Congress should not mandate a new performance royalty on free, local radio stations that would jeopardize local jobs, prevent new artists from breaking into the recording business and harm the hundreds of millions of Americans who rely on local radio. Broadcasters urge legislators to support the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes a performance tax, and that last Congress was supported by more than 250 bipartisan members of the House and Senate. Additionally, broadcasters ask legislators to oppose any performance royalty proposal.Learn More
The overwhelming power of big tech gatekeepers is threatening Americans' access to quality local journalism. The size of the platforms, such as Google and Facebook, dwarf local TV and radio stations. Not only do these tech giants pose major threats to advertising revenue, but they are gatekeepers of online content, exerting power over what internet users access and how advertisers reach them. When big tech wins, local communities lose.
A service known as "ZoneCasting" would allow advertisers to target their messages on radio to air only in certain neighborhoods. The company that licenses this new technology - GeoBroadcast Solutions (GBS) - is actively lobbying the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow its use, claiming this will benefit radio. However, nearly all radio stations and the National Association of Broadcasters vehemently oppose the adoption of ZoneCasting because it would threaten radio listeners' access to timely news and information about emergencies, move advertising away from less affluent communities and limit information in diverse areas and destabilize radio's advertising-based business model.Learn More
In 1978, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Minority Tax Certificate Program, which provided a tax incentive to those who sold their majority interest in a broadcast station to minorities. From 1978 to 1995, the program was highly effective in leveling the playing field for underrepresented broadcasters, increasing diverse ownership in broadcast stations by more than 550 percent. Unfortunately, Congress repealed this program in 1995. Broadcasters opposed this repeal because of the program's dramatic and positive impact on increasing ownership of broadcast stations for people of color. Congress should pass legislation to ensure diverse representation in broadcast station ownership.Learn More
Virtually all states provide protections, either by statute or by judicial decision, so that journalists are not routinely forced to reveal the identity of confidential sources. In federal courts, however, there is no uniform set of standards to govern when information about confidential sources can be sought from reporters. Broadcast journalists' ability to bring important matters to the American public has been put in jeopardy as numerous reporters have been questioned about their confidential sources or had their records subpoenaed in cases before federal courts.
Congress should not pass legislation that hurts free, local broadcasting by modifying the tax laws to make advertising more expensive for businesses. Advertising is currently treated as an ordinary and necessary business expense - just like salaries, rent and utilities - under the U.S. tax code. This means a business can fully deduct the expense in the year it was incurred. Some in Congress have suggested changing the tax treatment of advertising for specific types of products, such as pharmaceuticals. This change would have a devastating impact on listeners and viewers of local radio and television stations that rely on advertising revenue to survive, raises significant First Amendment concerns and ignores the important consumer benefits that advertising provides.Learn More
The internet has transformed the media marketplace, yet TV and radio broadcasters are still subject to outdated rules restricting the number and type of outlets they may own. Policymakers should support the continued modernization of these rules to account for the rise, and increasing influence, of digital media.Learn More
In 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) completed a review of the critically important antitrust consent decrees that underpin the music licensing marketplace. The DOJ decided to leave the decrees intact, without modifications. Television and radio broadcasters applaud this action, as modification or termination of the decrees would upset the balance Congress strived to achieve in the 2018 Music Modernization Act (MMA).Learn More
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