Bill would keep local radio programs local

Feb. 15, 2007 at 12:39 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A bill that would bar satellite radio from airing local programming that differs between markets was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Local Emergency Radio Service Preservation Act of 2007, introduced by Reps. Gene Green, D-Texas, and Chip Pickering, R-Miss., would hold satellite radio broadcasters to their national licenses to maintain programming that originates in a local market, FMQB.com said.

"Local broadcast radio stations are an important source of local news and weather programming and other local broadcast services critical to the public," the bill read, particularly in times of emergencies or disasters "when other means of communications may not be available."

The National Association of Broadcasters supports the bill, saying it appreciates the representatives' recognizing "the unique role that local radio stations play in communities across America."

In a statement, XM Satellite Radio opposed the measure, calling it "special interest legislation" that would prohibit satellite radio "from broadcasting local traffic, weather, and emergency alert information on our national platform."

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