Radio News: Rubio thinks the Local Radio Freedom Act is the opposite of what it is
Radio Ink reports that Florida Senator Marco Rubio was interviewed by Beasley Media Group Director of Latin Formats, Nio Fernandez at the Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference on June 23. Fernandez asked Rubio if he was in favor of the National Association of Broadcaster’s Local Radio Freedom Act and Rubio replied, “I think the Radio Freedom Act would impose new taxes and fees on an industry that’s already in a lot of trouble when it comes to revenue. We’re going to lose local news and information if we keep raising costs on operation. And this is just one more cost.” A typical politician's response, right? Well, Rubio's answer proves he has no idea what the Local Radio Freedom Act says. The proposal is a non-binding resolution the National Association of Broadcasters has been circulating in Congress for years which says that no new taxes should be imposed on local radio stations. Congress.gov has a one-sentence description of the proposal, House Congressional Resolution 33: "This concurrent resolution declares that Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over the air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings." Rubio says he disagrees with the Local Radio Freedom Act that is against new taxes for radio stations, but in the same interview he said, “Local media outlets are already facing a tremendous amount of pressure and competition from the sheer volume of where people are getting their information from. The last thing I think local media needs is another tax or fee that increases the cost of operating. That business model just becomes cost ineffective.” Fortunately, Rubio is not on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, which regulates the FCC and radio issues.