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NAB Allies Speak Up on Translator Costs

Reps. Olson and Green write to Wheeler

Two members of the House are speaking up in the AM revitalization proceeding, giving voice to a position supported by the National Association of Broadcasters on the topic of FM translators.

The NAB shared with reporters a letter from Texas Reps. Pete Olson and Gene Green addressed to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Both are on the Energy & Commerce Committee, which oversees telecommunications matters.
The letter expresses their support for the commission to advance the AM revitalization proceeding, and backs an AM-only window for FM translators.

They referred to a prior blog post by Wheeler about AM revitalization: “The concerns you express regarding an AM-only filing window for FM translators have given us pause,” the two congressmen wrote. “It is our understanding that demand for translators among AM stations continues to outstrip supply, particularly in locations where they are eligible for use by an AM station, which has caused prices for translators to skyrocket out of reach for many AM broadcasters.”

Democrat Green is also a principal sponsor of the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House of Representatives, which would keep Congress from imposing a performance fee or “tax” on local radio, one of NAB’s primary radio issues in Congress. Republican Olson is a co-sponsor of that.

Read the letter (PDF).