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IPFS News Link • Media: Print

U.S. lawmakers make push to assist local newspapers, broadcasters

•, By David Shepardson

Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell and Amy Klobuchar and Republicans John Kennedy and John Boozman urged Senate leaders to revise the rules to make thousands of local newspapers, TV and radio stations eligible for assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Many local outlets are ineligible because they are owned by parent companies too large to qualify.

"Ensuring that local news outlets remain viable at this critical time is not only a matter of fairness, but is essential to public health," the senators wrote in a letter.

On Sunday, officials said U.S. lawmakers were close to an agreement on approving extra money to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and could seal a deal soon.

The four senators said local newspapers had lost as much as 50% of advertising revenue, while the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says some local broadcasters have reported as much as a 90% loss in advertising revenues.