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DJ to Congress: ‘Radio Is Not Part of the Problem’

Free Radio Alliance hopes to influence thinking in Congress

Radio employees spoke during an event held for congressional employees and hosted by the Free Radio Alliance as a resolution opposing a performance fee on stations for music airplay was introduced in the 111th Congress. The alliance and NAB distributed videos of the event.

“Kane” from “The Kane Show” on WITH(FM) in Washington asked, “What happens if radio can’t take risks on new music? What about the relationship with the artists? Will radio welcome Eminem, 50 Cent to the radio stations? Will we give out concert tickets?”

Radio and the record industry have a symbiotic relationship, the NAB and its supporters argue, with station airplay raising some $2.4 billion of promotion for the record industry annually. A performance fee threatens that relationship, he said. “Radio is not part of the problem. We are part of the solution,” said the DJ.

Randy Hawke, programming director and operations manager at Madison-based Mid-West Family Broadcasting, oversees progressive rock, hip-hop and Latino stations. He outlined the negative impact a performance tax would have on his stations.

“I am very concerned about what would happen to minority formats and niche market formats if any additional burden is put on those.”