Religious Broadcasters Join the Fight for Local Radio

January 25, 2022

Last week, the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) called on Congress to support the Local Radio Freedom Act, legislation that opposes “any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” for local radio stations.

“At a time when local radio stations are recovering from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, imposing a new performance royalty would further devastate local radio stations already struggling to stay afloat,” NRB CEO Troy A. Miller wrote in a letter to Congress. “A performance royalty would financially cripple local Christian radio stations, thereby jeopardizing local jobs and harming local radio listeners.”

The NRB rightly notes that “the relationship between radio and performers has long thrived to the benefit of listeners, emerging artists, record labels, and stations.” Broadcasters, including the NRB members who provide music in their programming and other local radio stations who play music, already pay significant music licensing fees and provide free promotion.

Local radio also follows regulations that other platforms do not, including major public service requirements. Broadcasters take these obligations seriously, and year-round, they provide vital emergency information and unparalleled local community service all across the country.

Broadcasters’ opposition to a new performance fee is simple: new fees on radio would kill local radio jobs and force stations off the air, and, as NRB says, “would principally benefit the three major record labels that already dominate the music licensing market.”

As 11 members of Congress have recently added their support for the Local Radio Freedom Act, the legislation now has 208 co-sponsors in the House and 24 in the Senate. Reach out to your members of Congress now to ask them to protect the local radio stations you rely on for new music, emergency information and a connection to your community.