|For Immediate Release
July 25, 2013
Manassas, VA – National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), America’s pre-eminent association of Christian broadcasters and communicators, expressed concern with an announcement by Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) today that he intends to introduce performance tax legislation that would place a new and unwarranted burden on many Christian radio broadcasters.
“Performance tax legislation would be a crushing blow to many Christian radio stations,” asserted Dr. Frank Wright, President & CEO of NRB. “Moreover, I respectfully suggest to Rep. Watt that such legislation is fundamentally flawed as it rests on the faulty premise that all the value in radio airplay of music flows to broadcasters – an assumption refuted by reason and experience.”
Musicians receive free airplay by radio, boosting recognition and sales of their work. However, advertisers, sponsors, and program syndicators pay for placement on radio because of the substantive benefits they receive from over-the-air (OTA) carriage. The demonstrable value of radio airtime is ignored by many advocates of a new OTA performance tax.
Dr. Wright continued, “NRB would welcome a more coordinated collaboration with Christian music artists in order to both preserve Christian radio and to benefit the music of those artists.”
NRB supports a bipartisan bill, the Local Radio Freedom Act, sponsored by Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) in the House and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in the Senate. The bill (H.Con.Res.16/S.Con.Res.6) opposes “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,” and it has attracted the support of 143 Representatives and 11 Senators thus far.
About NRB The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
About the NRB Convention The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. NRB 2014 will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, February 22-25, 2014. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.
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