Carl Ecklund: A bad bill for local radio | SummitDaily.com
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Carl Ecklund: A bad bill for local radio

Carl Ecklund
Frisco

Local radio stations are vital to our community and we need to protect them from policies that would jeopardize their economic viability. Radio provides Summit County and the rest of Colorado with local news, information, music, and jobs. Unfortunately, legislation in Congress – the Performance Rights Act (PRA) – is threatening their existence.

The PRA is being promoted in Congress by the recording industry and would create new royalties that broadcasters would be required to pay. Stations already pay royalties to songwriters and publishers. If the PRA passes, stations will have to pay an additional performance royalty, for artists who perform the songs, as well.

The American economy is dynamic, and business models often need to change to address shifts in consumer demand. To that end, record companies have experienced declines in music sales through traditional sources like CDs. But additional revenue that could be generated from the PRA for record companies would come at the expense of radio stations. And that’s bad news because radio stations, like many other businesses in this economy, are already struggling. How are they supposed to afford new fees? Those that can’t will have to make tough decisions, and the results could mean lost jobs and/or closed stations.

As a general contractor I spend many hours on the road with my crew. We enjoy and depend on Colorado’s local radio stations. I would hate to see them driven out of business because Congress passed this legislation. Should the Performance Rights Act come up for a vote, I certainly hope Colorado’s congressional delegation will protect our local stations and vote no.


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