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Who's Who in Public Radio
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a non-profit corporation created by Congress in 1967. A Board of Directors governs CPB, sets policy, and establishes programming priorities. The President of the United States appoints each member, who, after confirmation by the Senate, serves a six-year term. The Board, in turn, appoints the president and chief executive officer, who then names the other corporate officers.
CPB received $430 million dollars in the federal appropriation for use in fiscal year 2011, and is scheduled to receive $445 million for FY12. 90 percent of the CPB funds flow to public television and radio stations. Of that, 25 percent flows directly to independent local public radio stations and the remainder to public television. The grant requires that the station use at least 25 percent of their station grant to purchase more-than-local programming – many purchase and broadcast programming from NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media and several other national producers. These stations also produce valuable, relevant local programming and acquire programs from other producers.
On average, listener support in public radio comprises the largest portion of stations’ budgets (32 percent). Another 21 percent comes from underwriting and foundations, 10 percent from CPB, 6 percent from local and state governments, 14 percent from institutional support (mostly universities) and 7 percent from other sources.
CPB funding is important to all stations, with rural, minority and small stations relying on this funding source more heavily. Public broadcasting is one of the most effective public/private partnerships in America. Annual federal funding amounts to only $1.35 per American and local stations are able to leverage the grant to raise six times that amount from other sources.
Learn more: CPB Main Page
National Public Radio is a producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment programming. A privately supported, not-for-profit membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 27.2 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 910 independently operated, noncommercial public radio stations. Each NPR Member Station serves local listeners with a distinctive combination of national and local programming. Only one percent of NPR’s funds come directly from the CPB in the form of competitive grants. Of the 17 members of the NPR Board of Directors, 10 are public radio station managers, 5 are public members (all elected by the member radio stations), 1 is the chair of the NPR Foundation and 1 is the President of NPR.
NPR Main Page
KGOU Radio is a non-commercial radio station owned and operated by the University of Oklahoma, designed to serve Oklahoma citizens in central Oklahoma. Over 60,000 listeners tune in each week to hear the range of programming from National Public Radio and other program producers, as well as an array of locally produced programs. KGOU is a voting member of NPR and receives a yearly grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Information about the station’s finances can be found in the 2012 Financial Audit.
The Federal Communications Commission licenses all broadcast stations. The non-commercial radio and television stations are required to operate differently from their commercial counterparts. Non-commercial stations are not allowed to sell commercials, but rather can accept donations. When those donations are restricted in some manner, stations are required to identify those donors on the air so that the audience can understand where the money comes from, and can decide if the money has any influence on the content of the program the funding supported. There are other differences in the rules and operations between non-commercial stations and commercial stations, but both types are licensed by the FCC to service the public interest.