Happy New Year! We hope you all had a joyous and wonderful Christmas season.
The Journey Ahead
As the 2019 train leaves its station, we want to give you a quick itinerary of our planned “Destinations” for the year ahead:
- WEB V (impacts both commercial and non-commercial broadcasters): it’s once again time to navigate our way through the webcaster proceeding with a goal of emerging on the other side of this mountain with good streaming rates for the next 5 years. This proceeding will take a significant amount of our time, money, and resources throughout 2019.
- ASCAP (impacts commercial and non-commercial broadcasters): your committee’s license with ASCAP expired as of 12/31/2018. We are operating under an interim license and we’ve already begun discussions with ASCAP about a new license (this time including non-commercial streaming as well as all the “typical” commercial license rights). We are hopeful to reach our destination (a new license for another 4-plus years) in the first half of this year.
- BMI (impacts non-commercial broadcasters only): as many of you are aware, our main path forward with BMI (a new, formal license) has been side-railed for a couple of years pending, among other things, the resolution of BMI’s litigation with the RMLC. While we wait for the track to clear, we have been working with BMI on a non-commercial streaming license. We hope to reach this mile marker safely within the next several months.
- GMR (impacts commercial and non-commercial broadcasters): we’ve been travelling towards this destination for a while now (nearly 2 years). It looks like the end of our journey may be near but we haven’t quite determined whether we can safely make it. We expect to either reach our goal or realize we are at a roadblock within the next couple of months.
It takes a lot of fuel for this train to run on time. While we are ever grateful for your contributions and we anticipate continued voluntary support from many of you, we have recently begun assessing each of our NRBMLC member stations an annual fee to help assure that we have the fuel needed to reach all of our destinations.
The assessment rolled out at the same time we were having discussions relating to our ASCAP agreement and some confusion understandably resulted. This annual assessment and services cover all licensing needs, not just the ASCAP discussions.
We urge you to “punch your ticket” in January by paying this assessment if you have not yet done so. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have – we’ll be in touch soon with more info as our journey continues.
Scott R. Hunter