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Letter from the Editor
In Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Jack Sparrow brags, “This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!”  While the line is funny in the movie, the same notion can be applied to pirates of a different variety.  Radio pirates.

The problem of radio piracy in Massachusetts isn’t going away and has prompted the Mass. Broadcasters Association to push a bill that would make it illegal to operate an unlicensed radio station in the Commonwealth.  

The legislative process takes time and we continue to push this bill on Beacon Hill.  While we continue to schedule meetings with members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, the FCC and others in Massachusetts related to this bill we could use your stories and experiences with Massachusetts pirate stations. 

If your station is being interfered with, please contact our office and tell us your story.  Want to do more?  Join our list of broadcasters willing to meet with legislators or testify before the Committee.  The more stories we can tell about how pirates affect legal, tax-paying, job creating businesses, the easier our path is to passing this law.

I look forward to providing future updates on the progress of H. 1679 and with your help, we can pass this important legislation.

Jordan Walton
Executive Director
Spring 2014 vol 2 • No. 1
In This Issue
MBA Goes to Washington, D.C.
Save The Date!
STELA Reauthorization
Broadcasters Face Second Front in FCC
NAB Show in Vegas
Families in Broadcasting Scholarships!
MBA Goes to Washington, D.C.
During the last week in February, the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association took many of its board members to Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Broadcasters’ State Leadership Conference and then on to call on our members of Congress. 

The MBA group met with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as Congressmen Joe Kennedy, Mike Capuano, Richard Neal, Bill Keating, John Tierney and Congresswoman Katherine Clark.

Save The Date!
The MBA has a lot going on this spring! From internships and scholarships, to continuing education and more, our schedule is packed! Be sure to add these dates to your calendar – these events are not to be missed!

Thursday, April 17thJob Fair at Curry College in Milton. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sign up your station today; you’ll earn valuable EEO credit and meet with potential employees!

Wednesday, June 4th – Management Seminar with Mark Levy from Revenue Development Resources, Inc. at the Westford Regency from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mark will discuss management tips and tricks, with topics such as: “Management Versus Leadership: The Differences And How To Be Good At Both,”  “And Behold, A Green Rider Came Forth And His Name Was Gumby!” and “Meetings That Stick (And Don’t Stink).”  Be sure to sign up – class size is limited.
STELA Reauthorization has Major Implications for Broadcasters
One of the top issues in front of television broadcasters in early 2014 is, essentially, a satellite television issue.  STELA (Satellite Television Expansion and Localism Act) is a bill that allows for satellite television companies to provide distant broadcast signals, which in the late 1980’s helped them compete with cable.

What the industry is lobbying for is the clean passage of this bill without any additional language that would pose a threat to the current retransmission consent model that has been in place since the 1992 Cable Act.

Since late February there has been a lot of movement on the reauthorization of STELA.  Many members of the House Communications and Technology subcommittee proposed additions to the bill.  The most harmful, rumored to be included in the first draft of the bill, was a proposal to allow cable companies to not include broadcasters in the basic cable tier.  Thanks to numerous calls from broadcasters throughout the country, this proposal was not included in the draft of the legislation.

Broadcasters Face Second Front in FCC
While radio and television broadcasters fend off a performance royalty, drastic changes to retransmission consent negotiations and advertising tax deduction changes in the halls of Congress, the Federal Communications Commission is proving to be equally challenging. 

The voluntary television spectrum auctions looms in 2015 but a proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to close the Joint Sales Agreement (JSA)“loophole” faces a vote on March 31.  The argument made by Chairman Wheeler is that stations that enter into a JSA are going against the Communications Act pillars of competition, diversity and localism.  In a March 6 blog post, Wheeler says, he argues that the dependent station in the relationship “is ‘owned’ in every respect except for formalities.  In other words, the independence of the controlled station is a legal fiction.” 

 Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai tells a different story about JSAs...

What do you want to see at the NAB Show in Vegas?
We'll be attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas, from April 6-10. With an event this size, we’ve decided to take a targeted approach to the NAB Show exhibits this year and make sure we look at and explore things that may be of importance to you.  Think about the types of technology you’d like us to check out and we’ll report back after the Show.  Check out the exhibits!  Anything we can check out for you? Let us know!
Families in Broadcasting Scholarships!
The 2014 Families in Broadcasting Scholarships are here! The MBA will award up to ten $1,000 scholarships to a graduating high school senior, or currently enrolled in a post secondary institution and will be continuing their education in the Fall of 2014. Students must complete an essay and submit the application and school transcripts to the MBA offices no later than May 9, 2014, to be eligible. Submit your application today!
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