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Broadcasters Go to Capitol Hill

Radio and TV broadcasters lobby lawmakers

Some 400 radio and television broadcasters are in Washington for the NAB State Leadership Conference. The station representatives will meet with lawmakers on public policy issues, according to the National Association of Broadcasters.

While they will meet on an array of issues, priorities include legislation that would levy a new performance fee on radio stations and proposals circulating in Washington that support reclaiming analog broadcast TV spectrum to boost mobile broadband service.

The week’s events include policy updates at the Hyatt Regency Hotel with appearances scheduled by House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., House Commerce Committee Chairman Emeritus John Dingell, D-Mich. and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. Broadcast representatives will meet with their lawmakers in a series of meetings on Wednesday.

A primary concern of radio broadcasters is The Performance Rights Act, a bill supported by the major record labels that would levy a second fee on radio stations for every song aired. Fifty percent of the new fee would be paid directly to record labels, according to NAB, which says 256 House lawmakers and 27 senators are opposed.

Television broadcasters, NAB said, will talk to lawmakers understand about ramifications of proposals to reclaim analog TV spectrum.

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