Viewpoint - Radio Performance Tax - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Viewpoint - Radio Performance Tax

Hometown radio stations here in Mississippi and those across the nation are facing a threat that could put a lot of them out of business—particularly the smaller locally owned stations.

The threat is a proposed law in Congress that would impose a kind of performance tax on every record that a radio station plays.  This pay-to-play fee would be paid to major record labels…hurt recently by the big changes in how digital music is distributed.  But the radio stations have a valid point when they claim that record labels and performers have benefited immeasurably for decades from the free promotion of their music.

Would there have been an Elvis Presley without radio?  How about Hank Williams or Frank Sinatra or the Beatles?  Would Michael Jackson have even gotten started without the radio stations playing the songs of the Jackson Five back in the day?  Where would world shaking innovative record labels like Motown, Sun Records, Chess, Stax and other independent recording companies that took chances on unheard of artists have gotten exposure for their product without radio?

In the old days of radio disc jockeys, some of them even got in trouble when record labels tried to bribe them to play certain records.  Well, now the record companies want it the other way.  You know, free over-the-air radio isn't as diverse as used to be back in its halcyon days.  The odds are pretty good that if Congress goes along with this performance tax, local radio will suffer and that's bad for our communities.

 I spent a lot of years in radio before switching over to the television side of broadcasting.  There has always been a symbiotic relationship between radio and records.  It's been a good partnership and radio is not the problem for the record companies.  The problem lies elsewhere and killing local radio is not the answer.  I'm Jim Cameron and that's today's Viewpoint.  Let us hear from you.

 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • NRA links school violence to Ritalin but experts deny link

    NRA links school violence to Ritalin but experts deny link

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 22:51:57 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 2:15 AM EDT2018-05-22 06:15:27 GMT
    (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP). Flags fly at half staff in front of the justice center at Santa Fe, Texas on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Congregations in this deeply religious community near Houston gathered Sunday for their first worship servic...(Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP). Flags fly at half staff in front of the justice center at Santa Fe, Texas on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Congregations in this deeply religious community near Houston gathered Sunday for their first worship servic...
    The National Rifle Association's incoming president is linking school shootings to using medications such as Ritalin.More >>
    The National Rifle Association's incoming president is linking school shootings to using medications such as Ritalin.More >>
  • USM ready for C-USA tournament play

    USM ready for C-USA tournament play

  • USM ready for C-USA tournament play

    USM ready for C-USA tournament play

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 1:14 AM EDT2018-05-22 05:14:55 GMT
    USM head coach Scott Berry. Courtesy: WDAMUSM head coach Scott Berry. Courtesy: WDAM
    USM head coach Scott Berry. Courtesy: WDAMUSM head coach Scott Berry. Courtesy: WDAM

    Southern Miss looks to add a Conference USA tournament title to its regular season crown this week in Biloxi. The Golden Eagles (39-15, 23-6 C-USA) open tournament play against UAB on Wednesday at 4 p.m. inside MGM Park. "Certainly, this tournament it's no different than a regional atmosphere, that's what it's about,” said USM head coach Scott Berry.

    More >>

    Southern Miss looks to add a Conference USA tournament title to its regular season crown this week in Biloxi. The Golden Eagles (39-15, 23-6 C-USA) open tournament play against UAB on Wednesday at 4 p.m. inside MGM Park. "Certainly, this tournament it's no different than a regional atmosphere, that's what it's about,” said USM head coach Scott Berry.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly