1:47pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
Local Broadcasters Ask Congress to Provide Relief Amid COVID-19
Associations representing local broadcasters in all 50 states, the District and Columbia and Puerto Rico sent a letter to Congress, urging legislators to provide relief for local media so that it can "continue to serve their vital roles in informing Americans and keeping them safe."
Specifically, the letter asks Congress to see that local media has access to the Paycheck Protection Program and receive federal support for advertising.
In a July 15-dated letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the associations asserted that "unlike other businesses, who have the option of temporarily closing their doors, local broadcasters and new publishers have maintained their operations" though some local broadcasters has seen advertising decline more than 50 percent compared with last year "and others have seen as much as 90 percent of their advertising buys cancelled.
"Local broadcasters alone may see revenue losses of more than $14 billion this year," the associations warned. "Some local media outlets have been forced to furlough or eliminate their employees to remain open, and others have had to shutter their businesses permanently. As the pandemic marches on, many more will follow without relief."
The full letter from 50 state broadcasters can be read here.