House Members Seek Expanded COVID-19 Aid Help for Broadcasters

Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Architect of the Capitol)

A bipartisan congressional duo has called on Congress to take care of broadcasters in the next COVID-19 aid package by allowing individual stations that are part of larger groups to qualify as local businesses eligible for the money.

Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) and Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), co-chairs of the Congressional Broadcasters Caucus, sent a letter to House leaders asking that broadcasters get expanded eligibility to the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) COVID-19 small business aid. 

They want some portion of the aid to be dedicated to broadcasters given that they are providing critical, potentially life-saving, info at a time of high stress and when they are suffering financial hardship. 

"The local radio and TV stations that give us the stories we need to know deserve our support and I am urging my colleagues show them that they are essential by ensuring they have what they need to weather this storm," they wrote.  

The bill would provide "temporary essential relief" to broadcasters. 

“Ensuring that small broadcasters, including those that may be owned by station groups, have access to the Paycheck Protection Program will help them continue to serve their communities and provide lifeline information," said National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith. "NAB and America’s local radio and TV stations thank Reps. Emmer and Boyle for fighting to help broadcasters remain on the air and free to their local audiences."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.