Radio comes to tentative terms with ASCAP


The RMLC and ASCAP had a lot of zeroes to deal with – 10,000 radio stations, 425,000 composers and 8,500,000 pieces of music. The two organizations have arrived at an agreement in principle that will keep money flowing to composers, and the composers’ music on radio – through 2016. The deal would be retroactive to 2010.

RMLC, or the Radio Music License Committee, is the representative of the radio stations, which comprise the overwhelming majority of those operating in the US; and ASCAP, or the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, is the representing authority for the vast majority of music getting airplay in the US.

The agreement will bring an end to litigation currently pending in the Federal Rate Court. It will include a fee structure based on revenues and will take into account new radio distribution outlets, including internet and mobile, and it takes steps to modernize and streamline the reporting process.

Saga Communications CEO and RMLC stalwart Ed Christian commented, “This is a gratifying result for the radio industry, which reflects the current realities of our industry and puts the industry back on sound footing insofar as its licensing relationships with ASCAP are concerned. We appreciate the good will which ASCAP has demonstrated in working with our industry to get this resolution.”

ASCAP’s John LoFrumento expressed his appreciation for the radio industry’s positive approach to the negotiation. “The process of building this agreement was based on mutual trust and appreciation, and reflected both sides’ clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities we each see for the future. I want to thank the Radio Music License Committee for its creative approach in respecting the value provided by music creators in our negotiations.”

The deal was years in the making, as indicated by our report on a temporary arrangement that was agreed to just about two years ago.

An agreement with BMI remains a work in progress.

RBR-TVBR observation: Remember Mikey? The picky eater who actually liked a certain brand of cereal, prompting his siblings to give it a try? Think of Ed Christian as being Mikey. Mr. Christian is not know to be shy or retiring when it comes to speaking his mind, and we have to say, if Mr. Christian likes this deal, it is almost a mortal lock to be a good deal.