Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Local Radio Groups Asks Heinrich for Support Defeating Performance Tax

I'm only a part-time blogger.

My bread and butter comes from my job as the Chief Political Reporter at 770KKOB Radio. It's part of the Citadel Broadcasting Group in Albuquerque.

Today, our General Manager sent this email out asking for support in the community to battle the "performance tax," which would negatively impact music radio stations across the country.

Senator Tom Udall, supported a similar measure when he was in the House of Representatives. Now he's on the Senate Commerce Committee, which has oversight on the issue. That Committee will review a companion resolution in the Senate.

Sen. Bingaman is on the record already and says he opposes the performance tax.

Already, two of New Mexico's new Representatives are offering to defeat the proposal. Now we just need one more congressional delegate and we'll have a clean sweep.

Please read Milt's letter and see if you have time to help, especially if you enjoy FREE, over the air, broadcast, MUSIC.

From General Manager Milt McConnell:

Greetings. I am writing today on a very important matter that is making the rounds of both the House and Senate in Washington , D.C. Some of you may already know about the Performance Tax that the record industry wants to impose on us. I can tell you first hand that it will be extremely detrimental to our livelihoods. First, it would (ironically) result in less new music being played on our FM radio stations. The measure would take 20% of our gross revenues and feed them to the foreign owned record labels. It would not only export $$$ from New Mexico, but I can assure you, that it would result in job losses in an industry that has already taken a beating from this economy.

I need you to do one simple thing. I urge you (and please feel free to send this to all of your friends and family network who care about FREE OVER THE AIR RADIO) to contact Congressman Martin Heinrich's office and ASK (URGE) him to sign onto H.Con. Res 49. This is a Congressional Resolution, that if we get the needed 218 votes, would effectively remove the opposing legislation (H.R. 848) from coming to a floor vote in the House of Representatives.
As of this writing, we are very near the number we need. Just today, both of our other two representatives, Congressman Harry Teague and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, signed onto Resolution 49. Also, you should know under the leadership of our Senior Senator Jeff Bingaman, he has signed onto the companion resolution in the Senate.

But this fight can be OVER by getting Congressman Heinrich to sign onto H. Con. Res 49. I know all of you have cell phones and friends with them. We have posted Congressman Heinrich's contact information on the 770 KKOB, 93.3 KKOB FM and 92.3 KRST websites.
For the past 80 years, the relationship between the music industry and radio has been mutually profitable for both industries. You know how much FREE PROMOTION we give for the FREE MUSIC we receive. And, you also might be aware that we already pay composers and songwriters for their work....a combined $2 MILLION dollars in our building alone in the last 5 years. The artists can trade on their name. Think about all of the CD giveaways, artist interviews....back stage meet and greets that we do.....not to mention the flyaways and other FREE promotion that we give artists.

Radio can't be held accountable for the fact that the record industry did not build the digital age into their business model. A direct tax on radio's already suffering profitability would force a wholesale rethinking of our station's formats, staffing and our ability to contribute to the communities we serve. And this DOES effect our News/Talk/Sports stations equally in the building. IF it were to pass, I can see many music stations opting for more spoken word format and fractionalize our News/Talk/Sports franchise which is so critical to our building. It is a disruption that SHOULD NEVER BE CONSIDERED, especially in this economic environment.

As you know I rarely send a group e-mail like this...but literally our future and our ability to broadcast is threatened.

Please take a moment and contact Congressman Heinrich's office and ask him to support New Mexico jobs and money staying in the state by signing onto H. Con. Res 49.

Thank You.

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