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Texas radio station owner says he'll meet pro-performance rights movement half way

A Texas radio station manager has told the Federal Communications Commission that even though he’s boycotting musicians who support the Performance Rights Act, he’ll play PRA advocate MusicFIRST’s public service announcements over his station.

George Chambers of KXIT

George Chambers of KXIT

“I have removed all songs of artists that are part of musicFirst and will not play their songs for now,” KXIT owner George Chambers told the FCC. But: “I have made contact with musicFirst to reverse my decision not to accept ads by musicFirst regarding the PRA and will now accept paid ads on the issue.”

Classic hits station KXIT FM 94.5 describes itself as “the most powerful radio station north of Amarillo operating with 100,000 watts of power.”

If enacted by Congress and signed by the President, the Performance Rights Act would require terrestrial radio stations to pay royalties to musicians for their songs. As we’ve reported, MusicFIRST, a coalition of musicians groups, the Recording Industry Association of America, and SoundExchange, have petitioned the FCC to investigate the alleged refusal of radio stations to air pro-PRA ads, and allegations that some stations won’t play the music of PRA supporting artists.

It’s unclear how many station owners are engaged in the latter practice. But Chambers has made it clear that he’s one of them. Here’s his letter:

As the owner-operator of KXIT radio I feel this issue is a two way street. The artist need the radio station to play their songs to get exposed, radio plays the songs and sells advertising. Radio stations have been presented Gold records as a thank you for the success of a songs sales. Extra fees on this broadcaster may prevent us from playing music altogether. We are struggling as a very small business. Our market is very small and KXIT provides a service to the community that is vital to the people of the community. This area has no NOAA Weather radio, during times of extreme weather KXIT is of great importance to the area. As a community service we serve this area with information for our community with school news, local events, hospital news, road reports and the list goes on and on.

Please do not hold the radio broadcaster hostage due to the artist making bad deals with the record companies.

I have removed all songs of artists that are part of musicFirst and will not play their songs for now. My attemps to make contact with the authors of these bills have gone ignored by Reps Conyers, Issa, Cooper and Senators Hatch & Hutchison. This broadcaster must purchase all songs played on my station and I feel it is my right to play the songs I choose, no one should tell me what to and not to play. I have made contact with musicFirst to reverse my decision not to accept ads by musicFirst regarding the PRA and will now accept paid ads on the issue. As of this date there has been no reply from musicFirst.


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