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April 23, 2015
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Statement on Proposed Legislation Regarding Retransmission Consent and Radio Royalties

WASHINGTON, DC -- In response to the introduction of legislation today by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) that would block a broadcast television station from receiving retransmission consent payments if its parent company also owns a radio station that does not pay a performance royalty, the following statement can be attributed to NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton:

"NAB respectfully opposes the legislation introduced today by Reps. Blackburn and Eshoo. This bill devalues the indispensable role that hometown broadcasters play in communities across America. We thank the 166 Representatives and 13 Senators who have co-sponsored the Local Radio Freedom Act and look forward to gaining more support for a resolution that recognizes the enormous promotional value radio airplay provides record labels and musicians."

The Blackburn/Eshoo bill would also bar federally mandated FM chips in cellphones.

NAB has said repeatedly that our organization does not support mandated FM chips in cellphones. However, we believe wireless carriers should voluntarily activate FM chips that are already in these phones. "For public safety reasons alone, FM chips already in cellphones should be turned on," said Wharton.

NAB noted that FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has praised the lifeline role played by local broadcasters in times of crisis, and encouraged wireless carriers to activate FM chips in cellphones.

To learn more about the FM chips in cellphone issue, here is a recent story from NPR.

Three Members of the House of Representatives added their names yesterday as co-sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act, a resolution that opposes "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local broadcast radio stations. The resolution now has 166 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 13 in the Senate.

Adding their support for the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House are Reps. Lou Barletta (PA-11), Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) and Ken Buck (CO-4).

Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) are the principal sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 17) in the House of Representatives. Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) are the principal sponsors of the companion resolution (S. Con. Res. 4) in the Senate.

"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 the Local Radio Freedom Act.

The 166 House cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act include (new co-sponsors in bold):

Ralph Abraham (LA-5)
Rick Allen (GA-12)
Lou Barletta (PA-11)
Joe Barton (TX-6)
Joyce Beatty (OH-3)
Dan Benishek (MI-1)
Gus Bilirakis (FL-12)
Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
Rod Blum (IA-1)
Charles Boustany (LA-3)
Jim Bridenstine (OK-1)
Mo Brooks (AL-5)
Corinne Brown (FL-5)
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Ken Buck (CO-4)
Larry Bucshon (IN-8)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
G.K. Butterfield (NC-1)
Bradley Byrne (AL-1)
Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Michael Capuano (MA-7)
Steve Chabot (OH-1)
Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-1)
Mike Coffman (CO-6)
Tom Cole (OK-4)
Chris Collins (NY-27)
Michael Conaway (TX-11)
Paul Cook (CA-8)
Joe Courtney (CT-2)
Kevin Cramer (ND-AL)
Rick Crawford (AR-1)
Ander Crenshaw (FL-4)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Culberson (TX-7)
Rodney Davis (IL-13)
Peter DeFazio (OR-4)
Charles Dent (PA-15)
Sean Duffy (WI-7)
Jeff Duncan (SC-3)
John Duncan (TN-2)
Renee Ellmers (NC-2)
Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-8)
Bill Flores (TX-17)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1)
Virginia Foxx (NC-5)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)
Bob Gibbs (OH-7)
Christopher Gibson (NY-19)
Paul Gosar (AZ-4)
Trey Gowdy (SC-4)
Kay Granger (TX-12)
Sam Graves (MO-6)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Glenn Grothman (WI-6)
Frank Guinta (NH-1)

Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Gregg Harper (MS-3)
Andy Harris (MD-1)
Vicky Hartzler (MO-4)
Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
Joseph Heck (NV-3)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
Richard Hudson (NC-8)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-1)
Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
Will Hurd (TX-23)
Robert Hurt (VA-5)
Evan Jenkins (WV-3)
Lynn Jenkins (KS-2)
Bill Johnson (OH-6)
David Jolly (FL-13)
Jim Jordan (OH-4)
David Joyce (OH-14)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-9)
William Keating (MA-9)
Derek Kilmer (WA-6)
Ron Kind (WI-3)
Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1)
John Kline (MN-2)
Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2)
Doug LaMalfa (CA-1)
Doug Lamborn (CO-5)
Leonard Lance (NJ-7)
Robert Latta (OH-5)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2)
David Loebsack (IA-2)
Billy Long (MO-7)
Frank Lucas (OK-3)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)
Stephen Lynch (MA-8)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
Thomas Massie (KY-4)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5)
David McKinley (WV-1)
Luke Messer (IN-6)
Markwayne Mullin (OK-2)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-5)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)
Kristi Noem (SD-AL)
Devin Nunes (CA-22)
Pete Olson (TX-22)
Beto O'Rourke (TX-16)
Steven Palazzo (MS-4)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-9)
Stevan Pearce (NM-2)
Pedro Pierluisi (PR-AL)
Robert Pittenger (NC-9)

Joseph Pitts (PA-16)
Ted Poe (TX-2)
Mike Pompeo (KS-4)
Bill Posey (FL-8)
Charles Rangel (NY-13)
James Renacci (OH-16)
Reid Ribble (WI-8)
Tom Rice (SC-7)
Scott Rigell (VA-2)
Harold Rogers (KY-5)
Mike Rogers (AL-3)
Todd Rokita (IN-4)
Peter Roskam (IL-6)
Dennis Ross (FL-15)
Edward Royce (CA-39)
Paul Ryan (WI-1)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Matt Salmon (AZ-5)
John Sarbanes (MD-3)
Kurt Schrader (OR-5)
David Schweikert (AZ-6)
Austin Scott (GA-8)
David Scott (GA-13)
Pete Sessions (TX-32)
John Shimkus (IL-15)
Michael Simpson (ID-2)
Albio Sires (NJ-8)
Adrian Smith (NE-3)
Christopher Smith (NJ-4)
Jason Smith (MO-8)
Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Glenn Thompson (PA-5)
Patrick Tiberi (OH-12)
Scott Tipton (CO-3)
Michael Turner (OH-10)
Fred Upton (MI-6)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Peter Visclosky (IN-1)
Ann Wagner (MO-2)
Tim Walberg (MI-7)
Greg Walden (OR-2)
Jackie Walorski (IN-2)
Timothy Walz (MN-1)
Brad Wenstrup (OH-2)
Bruce Westerman (AR-4)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3)
Ed Whitfield (KY-1)
Roger Williams (TX-25)
Frederica Wilson (FL-24)
Joe Wilson (SC-2)
Robert Wittman (VA-1)
Steve Womack (AR-3)
Kevin Yoder (KS-3)
Don Young (AK-AL)
Ryan Zinke (MT-AL)

The Local Radio Freedom Act's 13 Senate cosponsors are:

John Barrasso (R-WY)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
James Inhofe (R-OK)
Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
David Vitter (R-LA)

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