Radio As We Know It Could Be Changing

Radio as we know it could soon be changing... Record labels say they are rapidly losing money and are urging congress to charge local stations a performance tax to make up for it. Here's how the performance tax works... It's a per song fee charged to radio stations. In most cases, stations currently pay three other royalty fees to play music. KGNC General Manager Brice Edwards says it's "a new administration, a new FCC, a new chance, they're just trying to rush this through." WTAMU Director of Broadcasting Dr. Leigh Browning says,  "The NAB, the National Association of Broadcasters, is concerned." And they say you should be too if you're an avid radio listener, especially if you rely on radio to hear new music. Edwards says, "You're going to hear fewer artists and new artists are totally out the window because why would a radio station risk having to pay extra tax on a new artist or a new song. There will definitely be a financial cost to us." As for how much that cost will be... That has yet to be determined, but if it does pass, one group of stations will get a break. Browning comments, "Non commercial and educational stations will be pro-rated so it's more manageable." Even with that tax break, some small stations will have trouble getting by, and might even have to shut down completely. "We cannot afford to pay anymore than we're paying right now to play music for people." Many stations say they would not be so opposed to the tax if the proceeds were going directly to the artists. Edwards says, "The problem is it's not going to the artists at all. It's going to the record companies, most of whom are overseas." Congress has not yet announced when this bill will be voted on.