GAO Report Says CPB, Not NPR, Provides Most Local Public Radio Funding
July 6, 2011 at 4:26 AM (PT)
A new report from the GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE (GAO) indicates that the CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING provides the lion's share of funding to local public radio, not NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO (NPR), which has been in Congress' crosshairs for funding cuts.
The report notes, "CPB is a nonprofit organization that was established to facilitate the growth and
development of public television and radio for the purposes of instructional, educational, and cultural programming. Founded in 1970, NPR was established as a news-gathering, production and program-distribution company governed by its member local public radio stations, which pay annual dues. Local public radio stations must be licensed by the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION as noncommercial educational radio stations, and most are run by local entities such as universities and nonprofit community organizations. As of MARCH 31st, 2011, 818 local public radio stations were NPR members."
"Congress provides federal payments to CPB through the annual appropriations process," the report continues. "As a nonprofit corporation, CPB is not subject to the same federal fiscal controls as are government agencies. However, Congress may place requirements on CPB's expenditures through authorizing legislation and appropriations laws. For example, under CPB’s authorizing legislation, approximately 89% of CPB’s federal payment must be allocated through its grant programs. Beneficiaries of CPB's radio grant funding include local public radio stations and programming producers, such as NPR, AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA (APM), and PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL (PRI). Allowable uses for grant funds vary with the type of grant program, and may include the costs of production, programming, and management."
"While NPR does not receive any federal appropriations, it was awarded approximately $6.4 million in CPB grants during fiscal years 2006 through 2010. NPR also receives grants from federal agencies for programming and other special projects," continued the summary. "An estimated 70% of NPR's annual revenues comes from membership dues, fees paid for its programs, and from nonfederal grants, contributions, and sponsorships. Because local public radio stations may use all, none, or any portion of their CPB grants to purchase NPR programming and because, as the CPB Inspector General recently reported, not all stations maintain proper documentation that separately accounts for expenditures of CPB grant funds, limitations may exist in determining the total amount of CPB grant funds local public radio stations use to purchase programming, including NPR programming."
Read the full report here.