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AMFA Companion Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate


U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress

The American Music Fairness Act (AMFA) companion bill was introduced in the Senate on Thursday. Orginally introduced in June, 2021, the legislation would impose a performance royalty on local broadcast radio stations for over-the-air music airplay, which is currently exempt in exchange for promotional airplay. NAB and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) both oppose the legislation along with others.

NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt said, "NAB remains steadfastly opposed to the AMFA, which disregards the value of radio and would undermine our critical public service to line the pockets of multinational billion-dollar record labels.

"NAB thanks the 250 bipartisan members of Congress, including 28 senators and a majority of the House, who instead support the Local Radio Freedom Act, which recognizes the unique benefits that radio provides to communities across the country and opposes inflicting a new performance fee on local broadcast radio stations. We are committed to working with lawmakers to find a mutually beneficial solution to this decades-old policy disagreement, but this one-sided AMFA proposal is not the answer. We urge the recording industry to return to the negotiating table in an effort to find common ground."

According to NABOB, this legislation would "potentially financially crippling many local radio stations and harming the millions of listeners who rely on local radio for news, emergency information, weather updates and entertainment."

"As African American owned radio stations, as well as stations serving other underserved communities, have struggled to survive the downturn in the economy caused by the COVID pandemic, we have remained on-air, providing life-saving news and information, education, and entertainment to the communities we serve. And because we are on-air, we also provide free exposure and promotion for the recording industry and performers through free radio air play, interviews, introduction of new performers, concert publicity, music videos, and social media marketing," wrote NABOB.

"Free radio airplay provides the recording industry increased popularity, visibility and sales for both established and new artists. In fact, an industry study estimates that radio's free promotion is worth more than $2.4 billion annually to record labels. Imposing a new performance royalty would create severe economic hardships for local African American owned radio stations, as well as stations serving other underserved communities, and in so doing would jeopardize local jobs and harm local radio listeners.

"On the other hand, NABOB supports the Local Radio Freedom Act. During an already incredibly difficult time, the Local Radio Freedom Act reinforces crucial protections from burdensome performance royalty fees that would further devastate African American owned broadcasters, and other broadcasters serving underserved communities. NABOB thanks the 200 plus cosponsors of this bipartisan resolution, and we respectfully urge you to support minority-owned broadcasters, who are a lifeline for the communities we serve," the letter concluded.

Additionally, the American Consumer Institute also announced its opposition to the American Music Fairness Act.

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WJBR-FM/Wilmington: WJBR-FM's 12th annual Nemours Children's Hospital Help Our Kids Radiothon raised a total of $332,648 to benefit the hospital's Child Life Programs. The two-day radiothon took place on September 22-23 from 6am to 6pm on the grounds at the hospital. (L-R): WJBR's Mike Rossi (middays), Deanna Marie (mornings), Justin Franiak (mornings) and Brett Radler (part-time on air).

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