The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters is telling Congress that COVID-19 related aid to its members is a matter of life and death, both of station operations and the populations they serve.
Citing the pandemic's disproportionate impact on African Americans, NABOB is seeking funds for its members in the next COVID-19 aid bill, presuming there is one.
In a letter to Hill leadership on both sides of the aisle, NABOB president James Winston said that given that in some urban areas the African American death rate from the virus is twice that of the population in general, its members disproportionately need financial assistance so they can provide "much needed" news and info to those most vulnerable to help them survive.
They said without that money, some stations could cease operations altogether. They said given 40%-50% drops in revenue declines, "very few" local broadcasters can continue to operate with such losses.
NABOB is joining with the National Association of Broadcasters and newspaper associations to ask Congress to direct billions of dollars of federal ad dollars to local media and to allow stations in larger broadcast groups to qualify as individual small businesses under Congress' Paycheck Protection Program subsidies.
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
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.