Despite negotiations by the NAB and musicFirst to come to a deal on the Performance Rights Act, broadcasters are still lining up political support against the royalty fees. To that end, another lawmaker has just weighed in with a pitch against PRA.
Rep. Terry Alexander won’t actually get to vote on PRA. He is a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, not the US House. He’s also a full-time pastor. The Democrat representing the Florence, SC area wrote an opinion piece this week for the Florence Morning News spelling out why PRA would hurt local communities.
Alexander argues that in order to pay the new fees to record companies, radio stations would have to either sell more ads – leaving less airtime for PSAs – or lay off employees. He warns of a ripple effect through other small businesses if radio stations are forced off the air, eliminating an affordable advertising outlet for companies that can’t afford TV or print ads.
The lawmaker says record companies already benefit from radio airplay to sell music and fill concert seats. “It’s unfair to heap more fees on these small businesses when so many of them are already struggling,” he wrote. Alexander called PRA a “bad idea” and said it should be rejected.
Rep. Alexander’s commentary appears online on scnow.com, the Media General website driven by WBTW-TV (CBS) Florence-Myrtle Beach and six of the company’s newspapers, including the Florence Morning News. Click here to read it.