It has been a while since I checked in with Clear Channel’s federal Lobby report, which you can look up via the House of Representatives Office of the Clerk database. The radio giant’s latest disclosure form indicates that the company spent $1,170,000.00 on lobbying in the first quarter of 2013.
Here’s which legislative and Federal Communications Commission regulatory issues Clear Channel says it spent that cash on:
“Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding the Federal Communications Commission proceedings on broadcast localism MM docket #04-233. Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding the Federal Communications Commission proceeding on local radio ownership rules – MM docket #09-182.
Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding broadcast decency enforcement. Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding tax incentives and loan guarantees to encourage diversity of ownership of telecommunications businesses. H. Con. Res. 16 / S. Con. Res. 6, Supporting Local Radio Freedom Act, all provisions. Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding low power FM stations. Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding privacy. Congressional oversight and proposals regarding emergency communications systems as pertaining to EAS and FCC oversight.”
Interestingly, my search of Clear Channel activity at the FCC doesn’t show recent activity on the Commission’s largely moribund localism docket. But localism links to lots of other concerns, such as FM translators for AM stations, community of license requirements, and digital AM conversion, all of which have brought Clear Channel to the agency’s door of late.
Then of course there is the Local Radio Freedom Act, which would protect terrestrial radio’s exemption from paying performance royalties to musicians, as well as Low Power FM, poised for a huge expansion beginning in mid-October.
How does this level of lobbying compare with earlier quarters? Of late, Clear Channel seems to be spending a little over a million on the beltway every quarter: $1,184,600 in Q1 2012; $1,072,450 in Q2 2012; $1,200.000 in Q3 2012; and $1,085,000 in Q4 2012. If that pattern persists, the company will have forked over around $4.5 million on the activity by the end of this year.