Wednesday, August 09, 2006

How Public Broadcasting is Funded

KXCI is a Community radio station, but most of our funding follows the same model as Public Broadcasting. Here is an excerpt from an interactive website created by and for public broadcasting stations to increase awareness among listeners and members about Federal Funding and the potential cuts that Congress is currently debating.

We invite you to become more educated about funding of public and community radio and consider contacting your Congressional Representatives to "tell them public matters."

How Public Broadcasting is Funded
Funding for public broadcasting is based on partnerships: with listeners and viewers; with community leaders and institutions; with business underwriters and foundation supporters; and with the Congress. Federal financial support for public broadcasting remains a critical financial cornerstone for local public television and radio stations.

Federal "Seed Money"
The federal financial contribution to public broadcasting in 2006 is approximately $535 million, which is nearly 20 percent of public broadcasting's total annual revenue. From this federal investment, which equates to just $1.53 per American per year, America's public broadcasting stations leverage some $2.4 billion in programming and services through resources from other sources. A typical public broadcasting station receives 13.5 percent of its total annual revenues in the form of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives 100 percent of its annual budget from the Congress.

Other sources, including viewers and listeners, business and foundation underwriters, state and local governments, contribute more than 85 percent of the average local public broadcasting station's annual revenue. National distributors of programming, like NPR and PBS, receive the majority of their funding from annual dues paid by local member stations.

Advance Appropriations
The concept of "advance appropriation" is a very important element of federal support to public broadcasting. Simply put, an "advance appropriation" is a decision made by the Congress to allocate future year funding during the current funding year. For example, public broadcasting's funding for the coming fiscal year, 2007, was actually approved by Congress two years ago. And, the funding request currently pending before Congress requests funds for fiscal year 2009.

For the past 30 years, Congress has supported "advance appropriations" for public broadcasting to help insulate our programming and other content from politically motivated interference. This advance funding concept has been an important part of public broadcasting's fabric of independence, integrity, trust and reliability.

The Federal Funding Process
Earlier this year, the Administration proposed a budget containing $201.5 million in cuts for public broadcasting- nearly a 38 percent cut . Over the next few months, Congress will begin to approve actual spending amounts for programs like public broadcasting. The U.S. House of Representatives usually begins this process, during "mark-up" sessions in the subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee. It is critical that supporters of public broadcasting actively communicate with Congress before the appropriations subcommittees finalize their funding recommendations.

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