CapRadio's Future Funding
Constance Crawford | (916) 278-8955
With each new Presidential administration, questions about future funding for public media arise. Federal funds for public radio are distributed through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The CPB is distinct from both NPR and PBS. It is not a broadcaster, but a private corporation created by Congress in 1967 with two primary functions: to serve as a firewall between partisan politics and public broadcasting, and to help fund programming, stations and technology.
What We Know Now
- Funding for the current fiscal year, FY2017, has been distributed to the CPB, and first payments have been made to stations, including Capital Public Radio.
- The appropriation for the CPB is booked two years in advance, which is designed to provide a buffer between funding and changes in the political climate. Therefore, funding has been secured for FY2018 and FY2019, but has not yet been distributed. Technically, these appropriations could be rescinded, but it would take an act of Congress to make that happen.
- Annual funding for the CPB has been level at $445 million for several years. That amounts to about $1.35 per American per year.
How much CPB funding does CapRadio receive?
On average, less than ten percent of our budgeted revenue comes from the CPB.
What would happen if CapRadio lost CPB funding?
It’s important to receive funding from many diverse sources, including individual listeners, local businesses, foundations and the CPB. Losing CPB funds would have a noticeable effect on our ability to serve the community with local news and music programming. We estimate that it would take about two years to replace the revenue stream going forward.
Why does public broadcasting need federal funding?
Federal funding is essential to the funding mix that supports public broadcasting. CPB funding provides critical seed money and basic operating support to local stations, which then leverage each $1 of federal funding to raise over $6 from local sources — a tremendous return on the taxpayer investment.
Federal funding provides essential support for public broadcasting’s mission to ensure universal access to high-quality, non-commercial programming that educates, informs, enlightens and enriches the public, with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children and people of color.
In many rural areas, public broadcasting is the only source of free local, national and international news, public affairs and cultural programming – and with such small populations they often rely more heavily on federal funding. Without it, these stations would likely be unable to continue to provide local communities with news, information, cultural and educational programming that they currently provide, and could even go off the air altogether.
In addition, the CPB helps negotiate music rights for all public stations and provides administrative support, allowing stations to aggregate together for cost-effective sharing of information, research and services.
What can you do?
The single biggest thing you can do is to support your local station financially. In addition, you can make your voice heard using the Protect My Public Media website.