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RMLC, ASCAP Reach Deal On Temporary Fees

December 18, 2009: The Radio Music License Committee and ASCAP have come to an agreement on temporary fees to be paid by radio, beginning January 1. The fee schedule, RMLC said, reflects a provisional discount of 7 percent from 2009 levels and will be reflected in January ASCAP billing.

If the RMLC and ASCAP can't negotiate a new long-term agreement, the U.S. District Court in New York will set interim and permanent rates for the new contract period. The provisional fees are in effect until the court comes up with interim fees, expected in the second quarter of next year. The rate court's final fees may not be determined for a year or more, but, once set, will be retroactive to January 1, 2010.

RMLC Chairman and Saga Communications CEO Ed Christian said, "It is unfortunate that the gap in our respective positions was so vast that it made it virtually impossible to reach a voluntary agreement as to new licenses commencing in 2010. That being said, the rate court exists for this very purpose, and we remain confident that the RMLC can achieve a further rate reduction during the interim fee phase of the proceedings."

The RMLC and ASCAP approached the rate court when their negotiations reached an impasse earlier this year, and the RMLC plans to announce soon that it will pursue a similar course with BMI, whose licenses also expire at the end of 2009.

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