In its role as the collective voice of newspapers in Washington, NAA is an advocate on policy issues impacting newspaper business operations. These issues range from the congressional debate over corporate tax reform to Department of Labor rules on independent contractor classification to industry compliance with environmental, health and safety regulations. In addition, NAA provides information to our member newspapers so that they can take action on their own in support of sustainable business practices that help preserve and protect the environment.
December 14, 2012
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a draft order that would repeal the ban on radio/newspaper cross-ownership. The draft order also would permit television/newspaper cross-ownership in the top 20 markets, as long as the co-owned television station is not a top four-rated station and eight media voices remain after the combination.
March 19, 2012
A two-year highway transportation bill that includes a provision providing temporary pension interest-rate stabilization was passed by the U.S. Senate on March 14 in a 74-22 vote. We believe this pension provision would bring short-term and meaningful relief in 2012 and 2013. The provision would allow the funding interest rate to have a 25-year look-back period, which must be within a 10-percent corridor (it must fall within 10 percent on either side of that average) in 2012 and within 15 percent of that average for 2013.
February 27, 2012
The Federal Communications Commission released new rules on Feb. 15 implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. The TCPA’s goal is to protect consumers from unwanted autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls, often called robocalls. Autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls to cell phones and prerecorded telemarketing calls to residential landlines now require “prior express consent” in writing from consumers. The new rules no longer exempt prerecorded telemarketing calls to residential landlines from the prior express consent requirement if a company has an established business relationship with a consumer. However, the FCC has shown some flexibility by stating that consumer consent is “written” if it is consistent with the E-SIGN Act. The definition of written includes e-mail, website forms, text messages, telephone key presses or voice recordings.
February 13, 2012
After hearing that several newspaper companies may experience a cash squeeze as a result of arbitrary funding requirements under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, NAA has been educating members of Congress about the effect that unusually low interest rates – used to value pension fund liabilities – are having on newspapers with defined benefit pension plans. Since then, NAA has learned that business organizations, such as the American Benefits Council and others, are also pushing for pension relief this year. One proposal being discussed would modify the interest rate used to value pension liabilities as well as provide additional time for pension shortfalls to be amortized.
January 10, 2012
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking public comment on a proposal to permit waivers for newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership in the top 20 largest television markets. Under the proposal, a newspaper and a television station can be co-owned in the top 20 markets if the station is not ranked in the top four, and if eight major media voices would remain after the merger. There would be a presumption against cross-ownership in markets below the top 20.
December 12, 2011
NAA joined Tribune Co., Morris Communications Co., The Scranton (Pa.) Times, Fox Television Stations Inc. and others in filing a petition for certiorari on Dec. 5 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC. The petition asks the court to decide whether the Federal Communications Commission’s continued restriction on cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations in the same market violates the First Amendment and equal protection clause.
October 18, 2011
President Obama included a provision in his Deficit Reduction/American Jobs Act that would repeal Section 530 of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides employers with protection against retroactive and prospective Internal Revenue Service reclassification of workers from independent contractors to employees. In addition, the administration’s proposal would direct the IRS to rewrite worker classification rules. Given the proposal’s impact on newspapers’ use of independent contractors, NAA is working to convince policymakers that it would pose significant problems for newspapers and cause harm to the economy.
July 11, 2011
The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia on July 7, 2011, vacated a 2008 Federal Communications Commission order that would have modestly relaxed the decades-old prohibition on newspaper/broadcast combinations. The 2008 rule created a positive presumption for cross-ownership waivers meeting certain specifications in the 20 largest markets and a negative presumption in all other cases.
July 06, 2011
Newspapers desire to be good corporate citizens and have made changes in the way they do business that will have long-term benefits for the environment. Since 2000 over 70 percent of all old newspapers in the United States were recovered and recycled. The average amount of recycled fiber content in newsprint used by U.S. newspapers has increased from 10 percent in 1989 to almost 30 percent today. In addition, most newspapers have switched to vegetable-based inks in lieu of petroleum oils. As a solution for global warming/climate change is sought, newspapers will be searching for ways to reduce their “carbon footprint” and use of energy.