While the Senate is on recess and the House comes back to Washington to address postal office concerns, hanging in the balance is the highly anticipated and much-needed fourth round of coronavirus aid.


It is crucial that Congress include provisions to support local broadcasters — the link between rural America and the information we rely on to plan our daily lives. Our residents tune in to local TV and radio hosts to hear community updates, weather updates and emergency alerts. In areas where broadband connectivity is limited, this link to the outside world becomes even more critical.


Local broadcasters have seen advertising dollars decrease by nearly 50% compared to this time last year, with advertising campaign cancellations surging to 90%. As businesses remain operating at reduced capacity, local broadcast stations will see revenue losses of up to $10 billion.


Kansans need Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran to look for opportunities within COVID-19 legislation to support our local broadcasters. Specifically, we need to prioritize the spending of federal governmental advertisement dollars with local community stations. In 2017, the U.S. government ranked No. 46 of the top 200 national advertisers, spending nearly $949 million. If we could ensure that some of that funding flows through Kansas communities, we could better support our local TV and radio stations.


This puts federal dollars back into our communities and our local newspapers, radio and TV stations — and their readers, listeners and viewers — will benefit.


Larry Kendig (board member, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association), Osbourne