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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NPR taxpayer subsidies closer to 29%, Corp. for Public Broadcasting gives $90 million to stations-Slate

10/25, Slate, Shafer: "One sign that NPR no longer considers itself "public radio" came this summer,
  • when it changed its name from National Public Radio to NPR....
NPR's reflexive response to defunding threats is to shrug and say that it receives, on average,
  • only about 2 percent of its $161.8 million annual budget from
such federally funded sources as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • The biggest source of NPR revenues, the network states,
  • "comes from program fees and station dues
  • paid by member stations that broadcast NPR programs." On average, those program fees and dues account for about
  • 41 percent of NPR's revenues.

But where do the member stations get their loot? As Tim Graham of the Media Research Center wrote in 2008, "NPR receives substantial money from the CPB—through member stations," a fact that can be easily gleaned on the NPR Web site. In Fiscal Year 2008, NPR acknowledges on its site,

  • CPB funds accounted for 10.1 percent of all public-radio-station revenue.

The New York Times puts the dollar amount of CPB largesse to local stations at about $90 million.

  • In what looks suspiciously like money laundering, the feds give money to CPB,
  • CPB gives $90 million of it to member stations,
  • and the local stations give a chunk of it
  • to NPR.
According to NPR, public radio stations collect
  • another 5.8 percent of their revenues from federal, state, and local government.
  • Universities, many publicly supported, chip in another 13.6 percent.
That means the public contribution to the average public radio station's budget—if it's affiliated with a public university—
  • could be as high as 29 percent.
It's impossible to tease out from this information the exact percentage of taxpayer contribution to the NPR budget, but it's
  • obviously higher than 2 percent...

Republican threats (to defund NPR) never go anywhere...because the GOP's primary goal is to "whip" the networks into line, not to defund them. NPR and PBS have been such useful campaign targets for Republicans that if they didn't exist, the Republicans would have to invent them."...

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