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July 25, 2013
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Statement on Rep. Watt's Proposed Radio Performance Tax Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC -- In response to today's announcement by Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) that he will introduce legislation that would negatively impact local radio stations across America, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton issued the following statement:

"NAB strongly opposes a new performance tax that would kill jobs at America's hometown radio stations while diverting millions of dollars to offshore record labels. We continue to support private, company-by-company negotiations that are driven by the free market, as is reflected by recent deals between broadcast radio stations and independent music labels. We appreciate the support of 154 members of Congress who know that local radio remains the premiere platform for exposing new music and generating sales for record labels."

Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 16) in the House of Representatives on February 15 along with 71 additional co-sponsors. An identical resolution (S. Con. Res. 6) was introduced in the Senate on March 6 by Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

"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 143 House cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act include:

Rodney Alexander (LA-5)
Ron Barber (AZ-2)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Joe Barton (TX-6)
Dan Benishek (MI-1)
Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
Jo Bonner (AL-1)
Charles Boustany (LA-3)
Jim Bridenstine (OK-1)
G.K. Butterfield (NC-1)
Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2)
Mike Capuano (MA-7)
John Carney (DE-AL)
Bill Cassidy (LA-6)
Mike Coffman (CO-6)
Tom Cole (OK-4)
Michael Conaway (TX-11)
Tom Cotton (AR-4)
Joseph Courtney (CT-2)
Ander Crenshaw (FL-4)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Rodney Davis (IL-13)
Charles Dent (PA-15)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)
John Dingell (MI-12)
Jeff Duncan (SC-3)
John Duncan (TN-2)
Renee Ellmers (NC-2)
Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-8)
John Fleming (LA-4)
Bill Flores (TX-17)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)
Cory Gardner (CO-4)
Christopher Gibson (NY-19)
Phil Gingrey (GA-11)
Paul Gosar (AZ-4)
Trey Gowdy (SC-4)
Kay Granger (TX-12)
Sam Graves (MO-6)
Tom Graves (GA-14)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Brett Guthrie (KY-2)
Gregg Harper (MS-3)
Vicky Hartzler (MO-4)
Alcee Hastings (FL-23)

Doc Hastings (WA-4)
Joe Heck (NV-3)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
Richard Hudson (NC-8)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-1)
Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
Lynn Jenkins (KS-2)
Bill Johnson (OH-6)
Jim Jordan (OH-11)
David Joyce (OH-14)
Ron Kind (WI-3)
Peter King (NY-2)
Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)
John Kline (MN-2)
Doug Lamborn (CO-5)
Leonard Lance (NJ-7)
James Lankford (OK-5)
Tom Latham (IA-3)
Robert Latta (OH-5)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2)
Dave Loebsack (IA-2)
Billy Long (MO-7)
Frank Lucas (OK-3)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1)
Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
Thomas Massie (KY-4)
Jim Matheson (UT-4)
Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4)
Patrick McHenry (NC-10)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5)
Mark Meadows (NC-11)
Patrick Meehan (PA-7)
Gregory Meeks (NY-5)
Michael Michaud (ME-2)
Jeff Miller (FL-1)
Markwayne Mullin (OK-2)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-5)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)
Kristi Noem (SD-AL)
Devin Nunes (CA-22)
Alan Nunnelee (MS-1)
Pete Olson (TX-22)
Bill Owens (NY-21)
Steven Palazzo (MS-4)
Erik Paulsen (MN-3)

Steve Pearce (NM-2)
Tom Petri (WI-6)
Joe Pitts (PA-16)
Ted Poe (TX-2)
Mike Pompeo (KS-4)
Bill Posey (FL-8)
Charles Rangel (NY-13)
Tom Reed (NY-23)
Jim Renacci (OH-16)
Reid Ribble (WI-8)
Scott Rigell (VA-2)
Harold Rogers (KY-5)
Mike Rogers (AL-3)
Mike Rogers (MI-8)
Todd Rokita (IN-4)
Peter Roskam (IL-6)
Edward Royce (CA-39)
Jon Runyan (NJ-3)
Paul Ryan (WI-1)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
John Sarbanes (MD-3)
Aaron Schock (IL-18)
Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)
David Schweikert (AZ-6)
Pete Sessions (TX-32)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1)
John Shimkus (IL-15)
Mike Simpson (ID-2)
Adrian Smith (NE-3)
Christopher Smith (NJ-4)
Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Lee Terry (NE-2)
Glenn Thompson (PA-5)
Pat Tiberi (OH-12)
Mike Turner (OH-10)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Peter Visclosky (IN-1)
Ann Wagner (MO-2)
Tim Walberg (MI-7)
Greg Walden (OR-2)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3)
Ed Whitfield (KY-1)
Frederica Wilson (FL-24)
Joe Wilson (SC-2)
Rob Wittman (VA-1)
Steve Womack (AR-3)
Don Young (AK-AL)

The Local Radio Freedom Act's 11 Senate cosponsors are:

John Barrasso (R-WY)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

James Inhofe (R-OK)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
David Vitter (R-LA)

In recent months broadcasters and music labels have entered private-market agreements, without the need for government intervention, which permit radio stations to pay sound-recording performance royalties in exchange for lowered digital performance fees. Examples of such agreements are those between Clear Channel and RPM Entertainment, Entercom and Glassnote Entertainment Group, and Beasley Broadcasting and Big Machine Label Group.

On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Recent statements include:

"Internet, Twitter and everything else put together doesn't equal what country radio does for us as artists and as an industry."
-- Country artist Kix Brooks

"Radio connects the world together. It's my friend and it's everyone's goal to have a big hit song on the radio."
-- Lady Gaga producer and songwriter/producer and label executive RedOne, SXSW "Navigating The Waters Of Radio To Your Benefit" panel

"I want to thank all the people who help us to do what we do, our whole team. I want to thank all of country radio, Southern Ground, all our folks back home."
-- Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown at the 2013 Grammys

"I was driving in the car with my mom the first time I heard my song on the radio. It's a pull-over-your-car, get-out-and-jump-around moment, something that you dream of when you're a little girl and you want to be an artist. And that feeling doesn't go away. I'm still excited when I hear myself on the radio."
-- Miranda Lambert, iHeartRadio music festival, October 1, 2012

"To our world, nothing is more important than radio."
-- Epic Records COO Mark Shimmel, Advertising Week, October 2012

"We have a lot of platforms but there is no platform more important than radio."
-- Epic Records chairman, songwriter, producer and "The X Factor" judge L.A. Reid, Advertising Week, October 2012

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The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at


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