October 21, 2016
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Minority Churches Joins Growing Opposition To Performance Tax

 WASHINGTON - Opposition to the Performance Rights Act is reaching new heights, especially within the minority and religious broadcasting communities. Today the National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a coalition of 34,000 representing church- and minority-owned radio broadcasters, called on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to reject the Performance Rights Act, also known as the performance tax.


If passed, the performance tax would force local radio stations to pay the record labels an extra fee to play songs on the radio. NBCI explained, in terms of its membership, how the performance tax will make an already tenuous situation worse: “Only four percent of radio stations are owned by African-Americans, and this performance royalties act will make it even more difficult for minorities and minority churches to maintain their current stations and/or acquire broadcast properties in the future.”

The letter continues: “We cannot ignore the important role local radio plays in helping to shape the message to and image of the African-American community. If African-American radio ownership fails, then that voice is gone for good.”

Free Radio Alliance applauded NBCI’s letter and shares in the sentiments that the harmful effects of the performance tax on minority-owned radio stations far outweigh any perceived burden on record companies. Free Radio Alliance spokeswoman Peggy Binzel stated, “Local African-American and religious radio stations are already experiencing significant declining revenues. What good will it do record labels if there are no stations left to play their music? More importantly, what will happen to the people in those communities that rely on these stations for their news, information and ministry?” Binzel continued, “The African-American and religious community are already underrepresented on the airwaves. Under the record labels’ proposal, they could go from underrepresented to extinct. This is bad policy and the opposite of what we need to increase minority ownership and programming.”

The Free Radio Alliance is a coalition of people and more than 500 organizations whose mission is to keep radio and other businesses that play recorded music strong for communities across the nation by opposing a performance tax. For more information on the FRA, please visit www.freeradioalliance.org.

Free Radio Alliance
Kelsey, 202-448-5200

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