WCLN-FM Fight an Unfair and Potentially Debilitating Performance Tax
A Message from
Dan DeBruler, Christian Listening Network's General Manager
House Judiciary Committee recently held hearings on the so-called
"Performance Rights Act" (H.R. 848), otherwise known as the
enacted, this bill would require WCLN-FM and other broadcasters to
pay sound recording royalties on all recorded music. This would be in
addition to the royalty payments we already pay to composers and
publishers. WCLN-FM has already discontinued its free Internet
streaming after huge hikes in the fees to record companies, which
funded a third party to lobby Congress on their behalf.
many decades, the law has recognized that record labels, artists, and
local radio stations have a symbiotic relationship. Radio airplay
generates billions of dollars in music sales. Artists benefit by
selling CDs, concert tickets, and other merchandise. Radio stations
like WCLN-FM introduce the work of musicians working in many
different genres to over 235 million people per week. The proposed
Performance Tax ignores these simple facts. It would transfer massive
amounts of money from WCLN-FM and other stations to large record
companies, most of which are foreign owned.
the financial impact of the Performance Tax could be
devastating—especially at a time when the advertising that
supports WCLN-FM and its Christian music programming is at an
all-time low due to the recession.
we ask that you write or e-mail your United States representative in
support of an opposing resolution—the "Local Radio Freedom
Act" (H. Con. Res. 49). A sample letter is given below.
WCLN-FM and other broadcasters. Express your support of the Local
Radio Freedom Act. And please—do it today.
out who your representative is by visiting the House
of Representatives website
and entering your state and Zip Code.
nation is experiencing one of the worst economic downturns since the
Great Depression. Businesses, especially those that are locally
owned, are facing mounting challenges that can hinder success and
prevent economic viability. As you and your colleagues in Washington
work to pull our nation out of this economic slump, the big
international record labels are pushing an initiative that was
introduced in Congress — H.R. 848 and S. 346 — an
initiative that could put some of the more than 106,300 radio jobs in
jeopardy and reduce diversity in station ownership. Locally, this
would have a severe effect on our Christian music station, WCLN-FM,
which for 15 years has served the area with fine music and community
a performance tax by some in the industry, this legislation would
require local radio stations to pay a performance royalty to the
record labels. Even though local radio stations already compensate
composers and publishers for the use of music, provide free airtime
worth billions of dollars to promote performers and their music, and
pay the big record labels if they stream over the Internet, the
labels want more.
the foreign-owned record labels are looking for a bailout from local
radio, in the current economic climate radio stations both big and
small are already struggling to stay afloat. Even without the
performance tax, radio stations both big and small have announced
layoffs all across the country. 106,300 radio jobs translate to
almost $7 billion in annual payroll; salaries which help inject money
back into the economy. Adding another fee to an already struggling
industry would ensure those numbers will plummet.
strongly urge you to support the opposing resolution, the “Local
Radio Freedom Act” (H. Con. Res. 49), that was introduced in
February. Time is of the essence. Jobs are at stake. An industry and
a source of positive, family programming on the radio in North
Carolina hang in the balance. Please support the “Local Radio
Freedom Act” (H. Con. Res. 49).
letter based on one provided by the Free