The monsoons hit Washington DC, but that did not stop NYSBA board members from meeting with members of Congress. From the TV perspective we believe we made progress in gaining support for changing the time and amount of money allocated for the TV repacking. The FCC’s current plan is to have repacked stations vacated present channels in 39 months after the incentive auction. We explained that this may be impossible in New York due to a number of factors including weather, lack of equipment and tower crews. Importantly, the FCC plans to have a “phased” relocation”, clearing spectrum in areas that are considered to be most valuable to those wireless companies that purchase spectrum. THIS MEANS THAT NEW YORK TV STATIONS, ESPECIALLY NEW YORK CITY TV STATIONS, MAY BE REPACKED FIRST.
On the radio side, we presented our concerns over the performance tax bill sponsored by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D. NYC.) We believe we made some inroads into gaining more support for the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Resolution 17) which opposes the imposition of a performance tax.
Finally while there will be no tax changes this year, tax legislation is being drafted in preparation for the 2017 legislative session. We had very good meetings with the delegation and urged them to oppose any change in the deductibility of advertising. Senator Schumer has made it clear he opposes changes in advertising deductibility. We made significant progress with other members of the delegation.
NYSBA Meets with the FCC
On Thursday, February 25, 2015, Board members Ramon Pineda (Sr. VP Regional Director, Univision TV and Radio NYC), Steve Baboulis (VP GM, WNYT-TV and Chuck Carver (President and GM, WATS/WAVR Radio) attended several key meetings with FCC Commissioners and staff. We met and discussed issues with Commissioner Agit Pai and Commissioner Mike O’Rielly. We also participated in meetings with key staff members from the offices of Chairman Tom Wheeler, Commissioner Rosenworcel and Commissioner Clyburn.
This was an important set of meetings. We emphasized the importance of local broadcasting to our communities. We presented each of the Commissioners and offices a report that compiles all the stations that have received “Serving New York” awards from 2013 – 2015. It is a most impressive list.
The meetings included broadcasters from across the country. We think we made an impression on some of the offices. There is no doubt that Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly understand the importance of local broadcasting.