👋 As Congress leaves the heat of D.C. (both literal and figurative) for their home states and districts, we dedicate this issue of The Wrap to providing a topline update of where broadcasters stand on priority issues.
Given unified Republican opposition and what appears to be a lack of 50 supportive Democratic votes, there has been no floor movement on Gigi Sohn's nomination. .
🏛️ Speculation in Washington, D.C., centers around whether the White House will withdraw her nomination. Any alternative would also face limited legislative days to be processed prior to the new Congress.
2. Protecting the Bedrock of Democracy: Local Journalism
NAB continues to push for action on the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), which levels the playing field between local news publishers and big tech behemoths.
✍️ We expect the Senate Judiciary Committee to markup the bill in early September. The ultimate fate of the JCPA is tied to the broader big tech antitrust agenda and may very well turn on whether that legislation is considered on the Senate floor after the midterms.
NAB also strongly supports the Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA), which would create employee tax credits for broadcasters and media outlets for newsroom staffing.
Congressional supporters of the LJSA recently expressed strong interest in enacting the bill prior to the end of the year, though that path will be highly dependent on the outcome of the midterms and the mood of the Congress in the lame duck.
3. Local Radio Holds Strong in Fight Against a Performance Tax
Congress enters August recess without having accomplished two significant legislative steps sought by those trying to impose a performance tax on local radio.
The House Judiciary Committee has not yet marked up the so-called "American Music Fairness Act" (AMFA) — legislation to create a new terrestrial performance tax and the Senate has not yet introduced companion legislation.
🎙️ Radio stations have delivered strong grassroots opposition to this bill by airing radio spots. Thus far, more than 40,000 emails and 8,500 tweets have been sent to lawmakers.
At the same time, broadcasters continue to build support for the Local Radio Freedom Act – which opposes a performance tax – and that bill is very close to a majority level of support in the House of Representatives.
4. Cannabis Advertising Proponents See Momentum
The House-passed appropriations package included a rider that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from penalizing broadcasters for accepting such advertising in the upcoming fiscal year.
Additionally, Sen. Ben Ray Luján (NM), chair of the Senate Commerce subcommittee with oversight of the FCC, recently introduced stand-alone legislation to the same effect that would endure permanently if enacted.
🤝 These advances on dual tracks demonstrate bipartisan and bicameral support for this broadcast issue being addressed in any larger cannabis-related effort.
5. Cover the Midterms with the NAB Election Toolkit
Midterm elections are approaching! As broadcasters, we serve an indispensable role in educating voters, battling disinformation and driving civic participation, helping our communities understand the importance of exercising their right to vote.
🗳️ NAB's 2022 Election Toolkit provides ideas and resources to help increase voter registration, education and turnout.
It also offers tips for helping get out the vote, information on sponsoring debates and ideas for social media engagement.
Don't forget to send examples of your debate offerings and voter education public service to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature them on our social channels.
6. Award-Winning Producer Evan Shapiro to Keynote 2022 NAB Show New York Opening
Don't miss producer and industry thought leader Evan Shapiro's opening keynote on Wednesday, October 19 at 10:30 a.m. at NAB Show New York.
In an interactive presentation titled "Bringing Media into the Current Century, Now," Shapiro will examine the shifts occurring in today's media landscape.
Shapiro's address will take place in the Content Theater, located on the show floor, following welcome remarks by NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt.