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Newspapers Fared Well in Legislative Battles: No Major Actions Taken That Would Adversely Impact the Industry

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspapers Fared Well in Legislative Battles: No Major Actions Taken That Would Adversely Impact the Industry

Article excerpt

Newspapers fared well in legislative battles

No major actions taken that would adversely impact the industry

The newspaper industry fared well in its legislative battles during 1990 as no major actions were taken that would adversely impact newspapers.

During the year, however, the threats loomed large.

Newspapers escaped from proposed recycling regulations, newsprint taxes, advertising taxes and regulations, and the regional Bell operating companies did not move into information services or cable.

Proposed advertising taxes surfaced toward the end of the year, notably as legislators looked for revenue sources during the heated budget negotiations.

One proposal would have cut the advertising deductibility to 80%, with the other 20% amortized over a period of years, basically on the premise that advertising has a longer shelf-life than a year.

The issue, however, was squelched.

Advertising was also set to take a hit from two bills introduced last year, one that would have placed severe restrictions on tobacco advertising, essentially allowing only for tombstone ads, and the other placing labeling restrictions on alcohol ads.

By the time the tobacco bill came out of committee, it did little more than strengthen health warnings in advertisements, with any copy and art restrictions dropped.

Most of the other bills attempting to regulate advertising either folded or died outright.

Not much happened on the telecommunications front, as most parties involved are waiting for a ruling from Judge Harold Greene, possibly in the spring, on whether the RBOCs can expand into electronic publishing. …

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