MONROE TOWNSHIP, N.J.—Now, amidst a pandemic, is not the time to raise regulatory fees for broadcasters, argues New Jersey Broadcasters Association President and CEO Paul Rotella in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the FCC commissioners.
“I felt obligated to respectfully request that the FCC suspend any consideration of raising regulatory fees for radio and television during this particularly troublesome time and postpone the rulemaking process on this issue until our nation’s societal way of life and economy have been fully restored,” Rotella wrote.
The FCC is scheduled to discuss regulatory fees as part of its Commission Open Meeting on May 13.
Rotella cites that broadcasters have been hard hit during the coronavirus outbreak, most having sustained “60-70%” declines in ad revenues, he says. Rotella continues that raising fees will hobble stations that have become a key source of information during this crisis.
The FCC has broken down what it estimates 2020 regulatory fees will come out to online.
“If these snowballing fees force stations to go dark, there’s no other local entity that could ever replace them,” Rotella wrote. “To be sure, Mr. Chairman and commissioners, this is not the time to raise fees.”
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