House and Senate leadership urging that a portion of the funding provided within the upcoming Coronavirus relief package be dedicated to support local broadcasters who have experienced financial hardship during the pandemic.
Representative Tom Emmer (MN-06) and Representative Brendan Boyle (PA-02) have sent a letter seeking the funds.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted every American, but for those whose job it is to keep us informed – like our local radio and TV stations – this outbreak has been exceptionally difficult.” said Emmer. “They have been tasked with getting us up to date information during a time of high stress where the information they share could literally save lives.”
Emmer concluded, “However, these outlets rely on advertising revenue to survive – a revenue source that has become less available due to the hardships businesses nationwide have experienced. The local radio and TV stations that give us the stories we need to know deserve our support and I am urging my colleagues to show them that they are essential by ensuring they have what they need to weather this storm.”
“During this pandemic, local television and radio stations have proved an invaluable resource in the dissemination of lifesaving information for households across the nation,” said Boyle. “Broadcasting outlets continue to play a crucial role in helping people navigate this unprecedented crisis. This bill would provide temporary essential relief to many local broadcast operations that will allow them to continue serving the public good as we emerge from this pandemic.”
“During these unprecedented times, broadcasters have been hit hard by an unparalleled blow to the advertising revenue that funds local journalism and emergency news coverage.” said National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Gordon Smith. “Ensuring that small broadcasters, including those that may be owned by station groups, have access to the Paycheck Protection Program will help them continue to serve their communities and provide lifeline information. NAB and America’s local radio and TV stations thank Reps. Emmer and Boyle for fighting to help broadcasters remain on the air and free to their local audiences.”
Congressman Tom Emmer and Congressman Brendan Boyle co-chair the Congressional Broadcasters Caucus.
Read the letter here.