Blake Morgan and 14,000-plus #IRespectMusic Movement Send Letters to iHeart and Cumulus Boards on Eve of Congressional Hearing
New York, February 1, 2022 – On the eve of a pivotal House hearing on music fairness, the #IRespectMusic Movement and its founder Blake Morgan are calling for the board of directors of iHeart and Cumulus Media to meet to discuss how music creators should be paid when their songs are played on AM/FM radio.
“Broadcasters––which generate billions of dollars in advertising revenue per year by playing our music on your radio stations––have never paid a penny to the artists who make your profits possible,” wrote Morgan and the 14,000-person-plus #IRespectMusic movement wrote to iHeart CEO and Board Chairman Bob Pittman, Cumulus Board Chairman Andrew Hobson and all other board members of the respective companies. “We’re writing to ask for your help to finally bring an end to this injustice. The times we find ourselves in are changing, rapidly, and Americans know and act on injustice when they see it.”
Morgan, a recording artist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and label owner, founded the #IRespectMusic movement in 2014 and it has grown to a powerful force to achieve fairness for artists who have never been paid a dime when their music is played on AM/FM radio. “The message to iHeart, Cumulus and all other large broadcasting companies is we are not going away. They cannot hide behind their lobbying arm the NAB any longer. We are asking them to meet to discuss how artists can be paid.”
The petition letter – with the names of all 14,000-plus members of the #IRespectMusic movement attached – comes on the eve of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the American Music Fairness Act, which would end a decades-long injustice by finally paying music creators royalties for AM/FM radio song plays. The legislation also specifically protects small broadcasters: stations grossing less than $1.5 million a year would have their annual royalty payment capped at $500, or $1.37 a day.
In the letter to the iHeart and Cumulus boards of directors, Morgan asked for meetings between artists and board members to discuss the impact AM/FM performance royalties would have on artists’ lives and urged the board to speak with company executives to explain why they are out of step with the nation’s growing desire to see working Americans paid fairly.
“There is an awakening on the need for economic justice for all Americans,” said Morgan. “That must include the hundreds of thousands of hard-working musicians – our family, our friends, our neighbors – who struggle to make a living because they are not paid for their work.”
A recent musicFIRST poll found that Americans overwhelmingly agree that music creators should be paid royalties for AM/FM radio plays. By a 3-1 margin, Americans said it’s unfair that artists do not get paid when their music is played on AM/FM radio.
To join the #IRespectMusic movement, please go to: IRespectMusic.org
musicFIRST works to ensure music creators get fair pay for their work on all platforms and wherever and however it is played. We rally the people and organizations who make and love music to end the broken status quo that allows AM/FM to use any song ever recorded without paying its performers a dime. And to stand up for fair pay on digital radio — and whatever comes next.
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