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Texas Reps Support Radio Repack Funds

Broadcaster allies Flores and Green want radio stations to be compensated for unintended repack costs

U.S. Reps. Bill Flores (R) and Gene Green (D) support the notion that radio stations whose operations are affected by the TV repack should be compensated.

The congressmen, both from Texas, penned a letter requesting that the FY 2018 omnibus appropriations bill include “funding to reimburse radio stations for any unintended and unavoidable costs” incurred as a result of the TV Incentive Auction repack.

The letter was addressed to leadership in both parties of the House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

[Related — “Watch: Repack Funding for Radio Advances”]

According to the letter, their request is compatible with H.R. 4986, the Ray Baum’s Act, which passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee with bipartisan support. It says that a “Radio Broadcast Station Relocation fund be established to make funds available for the FCC to reimburse costs reasonably incurred by stations as a result of the repack.”

Flores and Green noted that Congress previously authorized compensation for TV broadcasters participating in the auction or hurt by it.

Echoing concerns that have been articulated by The National Association of Broadcasters, they said radio stations with transmitters co-located on TV towers will also have to accommodate tower work required by the changes, which means affected stations “must shift, cease or dramatically scale back their stations’ operations.”

NAB projects the repack’s financial impact on radio at $50 million.