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Broadcasters will lose one of their key allies in Congress next year as Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) announces he won’t seek reelection for a House seat that covers a large swath of central Texas. During the past several sessions of Congress it’s been Conaway who introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act which asked his fellow House members to go on the record in opposition of the performance royalty sought after by the music industry for AM/FM airplay.
Hill insiders say Conaway is well-liked and that’s proved advantageous for the radio industry as he played a role in collecting enough support for the resolution to effectively block any attempt to pass legislation creating a radio royalty. When Democrats took control of the chamber earlier this year, Conaway partnered with Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) on the latest version. To date it has attracted the support of 185 additional House members.