ViewPoint 11/1/09 - In Favor of Radio - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

KFVS12 VIEWPOINT with MIKE SMYTHE

11/1/09 - In Favor of Radio

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Watch for my ViewPoint segments on KFVS12 normally scheduled Tuesday & Thursday mornings following the Breakfast Show, and Wednesday & Sunday nights following Heartland News At Ten.

My broadcasting friends who run and own radio stations in this country are struggling right now.  It's all about legislation called the Performance Rights Act (H.R. 4789). 

If you ever visit a radio station in America you will see awards in the form of gold and platinum records to thank the station for helping the stars become famous.  Nearly 80 years ago the Federal Government made an agreement with the business community.  They allowed business to operate radio stations on the public airwaves in return for high quality entertainment and information, along with access by the local community and charitable organizations, all absolutely free of charge to the public. 

Radio sustains itself in only one way by selling advertising.  Radio asks and receives absolutely no subsidy from the government.  The music industry has taken advantage by convincing stations to play their music for free.  It has worked for decades.  We all grew up listening to radio developing new music stars.  The artists get their music played and promoted on radio for free and in turn they become rich and famous. 

Now, because of digital sharing and theft, the record companies are in trouble.  They want to bite the hand that feeds them and have radio stations pay a royalty for music.  Others pay, why not radio?  The answer is simple: no other music platform raises money for the United Way, the March of Dimes, and hundreds of other local charitable events.

The greedy record companies want to take up to 7% of the stations' revenues and send it to the owners who are mostly overseas.  The owners of these record companies are in Paris, London, Tokyo, and Hollywood.  Local, free, over-the-air radio is critical to every city.  This lost money, including those stations right here in the Heartland, will directly cut important local radio services.  We need to tell our senators and congressional people to stop the insanity of the Performance Rights Act and vote in favor of the Local Radio Freedom Act (HCON 49).

Mine is just one of many viewpoints. If you'd like to comment I want to hear from you. Click here to e-mail your response on-line right now, or write me at the address below. Either way, be sure to include your name and hometown in case we use your comment on the air.

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P.O. Box 100
Cape Girardeau, MO 63702

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