Congress emphasizes CPB’s “objectivity and balance” obligations, 1992

CPB from its start had always had responsibility for ensuring “objectivity and balance” in programming that it funded, but on June 2, 1992, the U.S. Senate amended the House bill that included CPB’s reauthorization (H.R. 2977) to add related responsibilities. Amendments were accepted by the House and signed by the President in August. Text below is from the act as signed by the President. Objectivity and Balance Policy, Procedures and Report
SEC. 19.

Bylaws of Independent Television Service Inc.

Following up on 1988 legislation that they had lobbied for, independent producers and their advocates incorporated ITVS in 1969 [see Articles of Incorporation] and it began operations in 1991. ARTICLE I
1. Function and Definitions. The affairs of the corporation shall be managed by the Board of Directors. The use of the word “director” or “directors” herein refers to a member or members of the Board of Directors, and the use of the phrase “full Board” herein refers to the total number of directors which the corporation would have if there were no vacancies on the Board of Directors.

The Voters’ Channel: A Feasibility Study, 1990

The Markle Foundation, then a major backer of public TV, proposed in 1990 that PBS develop the Voters’ Channel, a project planned to make more useful information available to voters. Here are excerpts from the 132-page feasibility study prepared for Markle by the independent production company Alvin H. Perlmutter Inc. Markle offered $5 million to help PBS undertake the project in time for the 1992 election, but the foundation and PBS could not reach agreement on plans. The project was dropped in June 1991. [Current coverage.]
Preface | Summary of Recommendations | Introduction | Is It Feasible? Preface
American government has become weaker in the age of television.

Independent Television Service, Inc. Articles of Incorporation, 1989

ITVS was funded through 1988 legislation requiring the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to establish an independent program service “to expand the diversity and innovativeness of programming available to public broadcasting.” The nonprofit was incorporated Sept. 22, 1989 and after extended negotiations with CPB began operations in 1991. See also ITVS bylaws, 1990. To the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, District of Columbia:

Each of the undersigned, being a natural person of the age of at least eighteen years and acting as an incorporator for the purpose of organizing a corporation pursuant to the provisions of the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act, does hereby adopt the following Articles of Incorporation.

GAO statement on NPR financial crisis, 1984

Statement of Frederick D. Wolf, director of Accounting and Financial Management Division, U.S. General Accounting Office, before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Feb. 10, 1984. NPR was shaken, its management toppled and some 60 staffers laid off by a financial crisis in 1983. The network, then largely dependent on federal aid through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, had expanded activities to generate nonfederal money, but GAO found that revenues lagged behind budget, expenditures exceeded budget and management lacked systems to monitor the situation, resulting in a $6.4 million deficit in fiscal year 1983. NPR’s Financial Problems Project Independence

NPR Fund Raising

NPR Ventures

NPR Plus

Project Independence Summary Fiscal

1983 Budget Process

Other Problems at the Start of Fiscal 1983

NPR Status at September 30,1983

1983 Operations Through April 30, 1983

Summary of Financial Problems

Transition period From April 30, 1983 to October 31,

Current Status of Controls

NPR’s Ability to Continue Operations

Conclusions and Recommendations

Good Morning, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee.

Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing, 1983

The Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications (TCAF) delivered its recommendations to Congress on Oct. 1, 1983, after extensive research, including an Advertising Demonstration Program at a number of public TV stations. Letter of transmittal | Membership of TCAF | Executive Summary

Chairman’s letter of transmittal

To the Congress of the United States:

In accordance with Congress’ direction in the Public Broadcasting Amendments Act of 1981, Public Law Number 97-35, the Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications hereby submits its Final Report. This report describes the Advertising Demonstration Program in which selected public television stations experimented with the carriage of limited advertising. The report includes findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Congress concerning the financing of public broadcasting.

Tuning out education, Chapter 5

Failing to foster lasting Cooperation between commercial broadcasters and educators, but sticking to its rhetoric, NACRE covered up the fatal inertia that plagued U.S. educational broadcasting.

Tyson saw revenue for universities like Columbia, where he was a pioneer in radio education, while the Midwestern populists envisioned free extension services for the public. In this 1944 ad for NBC University of the Air, the network's Radio City rises behind Ivy League gates.

Tuning out education, Chapter 4

The Depression created a demand for sober, public-service uses of radio. Seizing the moment, NACRE launched the most ambitious experiments in national educational broadcasting that had ever been tried in America.

Tuning out education, Chapter 3

Rival lobbies fought for regulators’ nod

“If you educators do not hold radio for yourselves,” Judge Ira Robinson told educational broadcasters in June 1930, “it is going to be so fortified by commercial interests that you will never get it.”[41]

The lone pro-education member of the Federal Radio Commission, Robinson had ample grounds for alarm. Since the mid-’20s, dozens of school-operated stations had been driven from the air by a combination of commercial competition, FRC pressures, and their own lack of resources and resourcefulness. In 1930, the mortality rate seemed to be rising; more than 20 educational stations would fall silent by the end of July. During the previous winter, Commissioner Robinson had been involved in a promising initiative that might have brought the federal government to the rescue. But the Advisory Committee on Education by Radio, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, had pulled back from recommending measures that would do much good for beleaguered educational broadcasters.