Wyoming Senators Sponsor Local Radio Freedom Act

Wyoming Senators Sponsor Local Radio Freedom Act in U.S. Senate

Written by on March 9, 2023

If passed, the Local Radio Freedom Act would prevent music companies from charging local radio stations for playing songs on air.

On Thursday, March 9, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) reintroduced the bipartisan Local Radio Freedom Act. The bill already has strong bipartisan support, giving it momentum in Congress.

For decades, record companies have wanted Congress to enact a law to charge local radio stations performance fees for playing music. Such fees would devastate thousands of local radio stations.

The U.S. Congress has repeatedly refused requests to enact performance fees from the recording industry. Now, they’re ready to settle the issue permanently.

Young lad reclining while listening to radio

Courtesy Unsplash & Eric Nopanen

The Local Radio Freedom Act underscores the critical importance of locally owned radio stations to families, small businesses, and communities.

The bill declares that Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charges for locally-owned radio stations.

“People across Wyoming depend on local radio stations for timely information, news, and programming that have a direct impact on their lives,” said Senator Barrasso. “For 100 years, radio stations and the recording industry have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship: free airplay for free promotion. If forced to pay a performance royalty, broadcasters will have to make cuts to important programming in order to make ends meet. I’m proud to join Senator Hassan in reintroducing our bipartisan legislation to block any new performance tax on broadcasters across the country.”

“Granite Staters regularly tune in to their local radio station to catch up on the news around the state, listen to music and stories, and get weather and emergency alerts,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in supporting listeners and broadcasters alike. We will keep working to ensure that our local radio stations are able to continue providing vital information and entertainment to communities across our country.”

“America’s hometown broadcasters are grateful for the strong support of the LRFA in Congress, and we thank Sens. Hassan and Barrasso for leading the charge on this issue in the Senate,” said National Association of Broadcasters’ President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “A new job-crushing performance fee on local radio stations would hurt stations’ ability to provide their free, essential service in communities across the country. We appreciate the more than 150 members of Congress that have already signed onto this critical resolution this year and stood alongside broadcast radio and our tens of millions of listeners.”

18 senators from both sides of the aisle cosponsored the bill, including Wyoming’s Senator Cynthia Lummis.

  • John Boozman (R-Ark.)
  • Mike Braun (R-Ind.)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
  • Susan Collins (R-Maine)
  • Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.)
  • Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
  • Steve Daines (R-Mont.)
  • Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
  • John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
  • Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)
  • Angus King (I-Maine)
  • Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
  • Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.)
  • Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)
  • Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
  • Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
  • Todd Young (R-Ind.)

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