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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2019
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Dennis Wharton
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Bipartisan Coalition Introduces Local Radio Freedom Act in House, Senate

NAB strongly supports resolution opposing performance royalty on broadcasters

119 Representatives, five Senators introduce resolution backing hometown radio stations

WASHINGTON, DC -- A bipartisan coalition of 124 Members of Congress have joined together to introduce resolutions in the House of Representatives and the Senate opposing "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local broadcast radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA) signals Members of Congress's opposition to any potential legislation that would impose new performance royalties on broadcast radio stations for music airplay.

"America’s hometown broadcasters are deeply grateful for this broad, bipartisan display of Congressional support for the Local Radio Freedom Act,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “Decade after decade, free radio airplay has propelled the careers of countless performing artists and generated hundreds of millions in revenue for the record labels. We thank lawmakers for standing in opposition to a job-killing performance royalty that threatens to destroy the economics of local radio."

Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX-11) and Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) are the principal cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House of Representatives. Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) are the lead cosponsors of a companion resolution in the Senate (S. Con. Res. 5).

"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 the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station broadcast over the air," reads the Local Radio Freedom Act.

In the 115th Congress, a similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate in January 2017. The House resolution was introduced with 115 cosponsors, and eventually gathered 227 signatures. The Senate resolution garnered 28 signatures.

The 119 House co-sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act include:

Rick Allen (R-GA-12)
Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19)
Brian Babin (R-TX-36)
Jim Banks (R-IN-3)
Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3)
Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12)
Mike Bost (R-IL-12)
Brendan Boyle (D-PA-2)
Mo Brooks (R-AL-5)
Susan Brooks (R-IN-5)
Anthony Brown (D-MD-4)
Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16)
Ted Budd (R-NC-13)
Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17)
G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-1)
Ken Calvert (R-CA-42)
Buddy Carter (R-GA-1)
Kathy Castor (D-FL-14)
Steve Chabot (R-OH-1)
Lacy Clay (D-MO-1)
Tom Cole (R-OK-4)
Chris Collins (R-NY-27)
James Comer (R-KY-1)
Michael Conaway (R-TX-11)
Paul Cook (R-CA-8)
Joe Courtney (D-CT-2)
Rick Crawford (R-AR-1)
Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28)
Warren Davidson (R-OH-8)
Rodney Davis (R-IL-13)
Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4)
Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12)
Sean Duffy (R-WI-7)
Jeff Duncan (R-SC-3)
Neal Dunn (R-FL-2)
Tom Emmer (R-MN-6)
Dwight Evans (D-PA-3)
Bill Flores (R-TX-17)
Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1)
Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5)

Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8)
Greg Gianforte (R-MT-AL)
Bob Gibbs (R-OH-7)
Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15)
Jennifer Gonzalez Colon (R-PR-DL)
Paul Gosar (R-AZ-4)
Tom Graves (R-GA-14)
Glenn Grothman (R-WI-6)
Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-1)
Andy Harris (R-MD-1)
Alcee Hastings (D-FL-20)
Jody Hice (R-GA-10)
French Hill (R-AR-2)
Bill Johnson (R-OH-6)
Jim Jordan (R-OH-4)
Bill Keating (D-MA-9)
Mike Kelly (R-PA-16)
Trent Kelly (R-MS-1)
Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6)
Ron Kind (D-WI-3)
Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16)
Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-2)
Annie Kuster (D-NH-2)
Darin LaHood (R-IL-18)
Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-1)
Doug Lamborn (R-CO-5)
Bob Latta (R-OH-5)
Al Lawson (D-FL-5)
Dave Loebsack (D-IA-2)
Billy Long (R-MO-7)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-3)
Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8)
Roger Marshall (R-KS-1)
Thomas Massie (R-KY-4)
Betty McCollum (D-MN-4)
Donald McEachin (D-VA-4)
Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10)
David McKinley (R-WV-1)
Mark Meadows (R-NC-11)
Paul Mitchell (R-MI-10)

Alex Mooney (R-WV-2)
Seth Moulton (D-MA-6)
Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2)
Dan Newhouse (R-WA-4)
Devin Nunes (R-CA-22)
Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ-1)
Pete Olson (R-TX-22)
Steven Palazzo (R-MS-4)
Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6)
Donald Payne (D-NJ-10)
Bill Posey (R-FL-8)
Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS-DL)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5)
Hal Rogers (R-KY-5)
Mike Rogers (R-AL-3)
David Rouzer (R-NC-7)
Bobby Rush (D-IL-1)
Tim Ryan (D-OH-13)
David Scott (D-GA-13)
John Shimkus (R-IL-15)
Mike Simpson (R-ID-2)
Adrian Smith (R-NE-3)
Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21)
Steve Stivers (R-OH-15)
Mike Turner (R-OH-10)
Fred Upton (R-MI-6)
Ann Wagner (R-MO-2)
Tim Walberg (R-MI-7)
Greg Walden (R-OR-2)
Mark Walker (R-NC-6)
Randy Weber (R-TX-14)
Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-2)
Bruce Westerman (R-AR-4)
Roger Williams (R-TX-25)
Joe Wilson (R-SC-2)
Steve Womack (R-AR-3)
John Yarmuth (D-KY-3)
Don Young (R-AK-AL)
Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1)

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

John Barrasso (R-WY)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Susan Collins (R-ME)

Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Tom Udall (D-CO)

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

thank you everyone for making us #1 on alternative radio this week. it's insane how much you've reacted to you're somebody else. thank you for 'getting it.'
-- Tweet by Flora Cash, February 12, 2019

Alsooooo omfg 1999 impacts US radio today! If you hear it, tweet me and the radio station so i can say thanks @charli_xcx
-- Tweet by Troye Sivan, December 4, 2018

"I was like, 'You know what? One day I’ll hear my song on the radio, and that will be a moment.'"
-- Mariah Carey, “Forever Mariah: An Interview With an Icon,” Pitchfork, November 28, 2018

"That's the biggest thrill, to hear your song on the radio."
-- Songwriter Joe Melson, “Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inducts Class of 2018,” The Tennessean, October 28, 2018

A HUGE thank you to Christian Radio! We could not have the ministry that we have without you! So grateful to be able to partner with you in sharing the message of Gods hope. Together, we’re building Gods kingdom! That’s what this life is all about! #welldone #theafters
-- Tweet by Christian pop rock band The Afters, October 7, 2018

GOD IS THE GREATEST!!!!! WOW !! #NOBRAINER ENTERS THE @billboard HOT 100 debuting AT #5 WOW! FAN LUV THANK YOU SO MUCH !!! In one week we enter The #HOT100 #5 !!!!!! FAN LUV YOU R SO AMAZING !! Thank you to all the djs radio stations pds .. #NOBRAINER
-- Tweet by DJ Khaled, August 6, 2018

"I'm totally sold that any of the top three are certainly worthy of having big, big hits down the road in whichever genre they carve out their spot in. That’s what we signed up for. Our goal has been to find somebody that can have legitimate success on the radio, in touring and be big-time artists. If I couldn’t stand here and believe that, I wouldn’t have signed up for next year."
-- "American Idol" judge and country music artist Luke Bryan, Billboard, May 21, 2018

"I'd like to thank American radio for supporting us for five decades. And the belief in us has just been tremendous and has given us encouragement to keep going, and doing everything we love to do, and that’s make music."
-- Moody Blues' John Lodge, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, April 14, 2018

"After sending that cassette to every label and manager I could think of, I thought, ‘Who is the loneliest person in the music business? … the DJ. There was a new station in NYC called WAPP. It was so new, that there wasn’t even a receptionist, so I was able to walk in and get the attention of John Lassman and the DJ Chip Hobart. I told them about the songs on the cassette and the frustration of not getting any label to listen to it. Chip did listen to it, and he told me he thought it should be included on their ‘Homegrown’ record of local original music."
-- Jon Bon Jovi, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, April 14, 2018

"It'll probably be a cold day in hell before I don’t send a new act on a radio tour."
-- Jon Loba, executive vice president of BBR Music Group, “‘Radio tour is not for the weak’: Inside the first step to country music stardom,” Washington Post, June 15, 2017

About NAB
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 www.nab.org.