NAB show of force on Capitol Hill


The NAB bought full page ads 11/17/09 in two Capitol Hill publications — Roll Call and Congressional Quarterly – simply to thank all of the supporters of the Local Radio Freedom Act. By so doing, these lawmakers – nearly 300 strong – indicated their opposition to the Performance Rights Act. The ad lists all 252 representatives and 27 senators. 11/17/09 happened to be the day when Pat Leahy (D-VT) and John Conyers (D-MI) were hoping to host a chat between opposite sides in the PRA dispute.

PRA made it though both Judiciary Committees, under Leahy and Conyers. The talks are coming before any attempt to take them to the floor.

218 representatives constitutes a majority in the House, so to all appearances broadcasters have more than enough firepower to defeat PRA should it make it to the House floor for a full vote.

RBR-TVBR observation: The support for Local Radio Freedom is whip-proof, because it is thoroughly bipartisan. There can be no cries for party loyalty because the sides do not break down along party lines.

And Local is a good name for the bill broadcasters support. We’d bet local broadcasters are well known to most of the legislators supporting LRFA. Meanwhile, many of the potential beneficiaries of PRA are sitting across an ocean or clear on the other side of the globe.

The supporters of LRFA know how valuable local radio is to their constituency, and want to keep it strong – especially if the other option is to bundle up the cash and ship it to some corporation overseas. They have made the correct choice.