Local Radio Freedom Act Introduced

RadioInk reports that a bipartisan coalition of 124 Members of Congress (119 Reps, five Senators) have introduced resolutions in the House of Representatives and the Senate opposing “any new performance fee, tax, royalty or other charge” on local broadcast radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act opposes any potential legislation that would impose new performance royalties on broadcast radio stations for music airplay.

Among those supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act from Michigan are Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), Rep. Upton, Fred (R-MI-6), Rep. Tim Walberg, (R-MI-7) and Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI-10).

“America’s hometown broadcasters are deeply grateful for this broad, bipartisan display of Congressional support for the Local Radio Freedom Act,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “Decade after decade, free radio airplay has propelled the careers of countless performing artists and generated hundreds of millions in revenue for the record labels. We thank lawmakers for standing in opposition to a job-killing performance royalty that threatens to destroy the economics of local radio.”

The prinicipal cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House (H. Con. Res. 20) are Reps. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) and Michael Conaway (R-TX-11).  In the Senate (S. Con. Res. 5) the cosponsors of a companion resolution are Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).

 




Former WOOD TV News Director Passes

Patti McGettigan

This past weekend, WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) reported that former news director Patti McGettigan died Saturday (2/16) after a long battle with cancer.  McGettigan was 53.

She became WOOD TV’s news director in 2000 and served in that role until leaving the station in 2009 to serve as news director at stations in Indianapolis and Memphis.

“Patti was a driving and trans-formative force — leading us with her strong convictions, solid decision making, and great compassion for her team and the community we serve,” WOOD-TV Director of Operations Kevin Ferrara wrote in a staff memo sent out Saturday evening. “She had the incredible vision to see the endgame to each decision with great foresight and clarity.”

One of McGettigan’s proudest accomplishments was her work on an award-winning special called “Race in Reality”. It aired in 2005. The program examined the role race plays in the community and the consequences of racism and discrimination. The initiative ultimately garnered the station a national RTNDA Unity Award.

“She didn’t just tell us what to do, she shared her reasoning and inspired us to push ourselves to be better,” Ferrara wrote in the staff memo.

The station noted that many who respected McGettigan often talk about her eye for talent. She recognized and invested in the talent of some who remain a part of WOOD TV’s news product today and others who’ve moved to large markets and the national stage — like ABC Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee and CBS Chicago news reporter Brad Edwards. She didn’t hire him, but also worked closely with ABC News correspondent Steve Osunsami during his time at WOOD-TV.

“For the ‘very Irish’ little girl who was destined to be in journalism, growing up on Dale Street in Dearborn, watching Walter Cronkite and Bill Bonds every night in her living room with her dad, you too are now a legend to many of us,” Ferrara wrote. “You’ve made an indelible impact on WOOD TV and TV journalism.”