CPB appropriations by year

This is CPB's account of its history of annual appropriations since its founding in more than 40 years ago. Figures shown represent millions of dollars (for example, $5.0 = $5 million). More recent figures may be posted by CPB. Fiscal Year
Admin. Request
House Allocation
Senate Allocation
Appropriation

1969
$9.0
(b)
$6.0
$5.0

1970
$15.0
(b)
$15.0
$15.0

1971
$22.0
(b)
$27.0
$23.0

1972
$35.0
$35.0
$35.0
$35.0

1973
$45.0
$45.0
$45.0
$35.0

1974
$45.0
(b)
$55.0
$50.0

1975
$60.0
$60.0
$65.0
$62.0

1976
$70.0
$78.5
$78.5
$78.5

TQ (a)
$17.0
$17.5
$17.5
$17.5

1977
$70.0
$96.7
$103.0
$103.0

1978
$80.0
$107.1
$121.1
$119.2

1979
$90.0
$120.2
$140.0
$120.2

1980
$120.0
$145.0
$172.0
$152.0

1981
$162.0
$162.0
$162.0
$162.0

1982
$172.0
$172.0
$172.0
$172.0

1983
$172.0
$172.0
$172.0
$137.0

1984
$110.0
$110.0
$130.0
$137.5

1985
$85.0
$130.0
$130.0
$150.5

1986
$75.0
$130.0
$130.0
$159.5

1987
$186.0
(b)
$238.0
$200.0

1988
$214.0
(b)
$214.0
$214.0

1989
$214.0
$214.0
$238.0
$228.0

1990
$214.0
$238.0
$248.0
$229.4

1991
$214.0
(b)
$245.0
$245.0

1992
$242.1
$242.1
$260.0
$251.1

1993
$259.6
$259.6
$275.0
$259.6

1994
$260.0
$253.3
$284.0
$275.0

1995
$275.0
$271.6
$310.0
$285.6

1996
$292.6
$292.6
$320.0
$275.0

1997
$292.6
(b)
$330.0
$260.0

1998
$296.4
$240.0
$260.0
$250.0

1999
$275.0
$250.0
$250.0
$250.0

2000
$325.0
$300.0
$300.0
$300.0

2001
$340.0
$340.0
$340.0
$340.0

2002
$350.0
$340.0
$350.0
$350.0

2003
$365.0
$365.0
$365.0
$362.8

2004
(c)
$365.0
$395.0
$377.8

2005
(c)
$380.0
$395.0
$386.8

2006
(c) (d)
$335.0
$400.0
$396.0

2007
(c) (d)
$400.0
$400.0
$400.0

2008
(c) (d)
$400.0
$400.0
$393.0

2009
(c) (d)
none
$400.0
$400.0

2010
(c) (d)
$420.0
$420.0
$420.0

2011
(c)
$430.0
$430.0
$429.1

2012
$440.0
$440.0
$450.0
$444.1

2013
$460.0
$460.0
$460.0
$445.0

2014
$451.0
none
$445.0
$445.0

Notes
(a) Transition Quarter funding, during which federal budget year changed from July to September.

APTS congressional champion delivers ‘tough love’ to pubTV leaders

A radio broadcaster-turned lawmaker who chairs a key House subcommittee with oversight of CPB delivered a pointed critique to public TV station execs about their prospects for preserving federal aid in the 113th Congress. During a Feb. 26 breakfast hosted by the Association of Public Television Stations at the Library of Congress, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden (R) warned a roomful of station executives that they face an uphill battle in rebuilding bipartisan support for the field. Republican views of public broadcasting are colored by negative baggage carried over from the 2010-11 political scandals over NPR, and the notion that increased competition from cable and digital channels has made public TV less relevant to television viewers, Walden said. The event, part of APTS’s annual Public Media Summit, celebrated Walden as a “Champion of Public Broadcasting,” and the lawmaker used the occasion to deliver what APTS President Patrick Butler later called “tough love.”

Walden referred to recommendations of a 2007 Government Accountability Office report on public TV’s financing to make his point.

CPB report to Capitol Hill countering “continued and pervasive” opposition to federal funding

CPB's financial analysis on alternative funding sources for public broadcasting, prepared by consultants at Booz & Co.  and delivered to Congress in June, has had little impact on lawmakers' views about continuation of CPB's annual federal appropriation to date, CPB staff reported during a Sept. 10 board meeting  in Washington, D.C.

In the report, analysts for Booz examined a range of options for replacing CPB's federal aid — from selling commercial advertising to tapping spectrum auction proceeds or selling pay-channel subscriptions, among others. They concluded that withdrawal of federal aid would have a "cascading debilitating effect," starting first with stations serving rural areas and ultimately leading to collapse of the public broadcasting system. The dire predictions haven't made much difference in swaying lawmakers on Capitol Hill, CPB's government affairs staff reported to the board.  “I think it’s fair to say that in the past two-and-a-half months there’s been a little change in the conversation regarding funding for public broadcasting, and the idea of commercials,” said Michael Levy, CPB executive vice president.  CPB staff have been meeting with key Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate appropriations committees to discuss why a purely commercial model for public broadcasting is not a viable option. The Booz analysis predicted that public TV could earn more revenue from commercial advertising sales than it now does from underwriting, but the switch to ads would prompt a large portion of those who provide private support to the field --  individual donors, foundations and underwriters  — to withdraw their support, resulting in a net revenue loss.

Thicket of uncertainty for federal aid

Public broadcasters face multiple and serious uncertainties on Capitol Hill over the next few months. A spending bill approved by the House subcommittee with oversight of CPB’s appropriation proposes to phase out CPB funding over the next three years; it includes language restricting public radio stations from spending their CPB aid to support NPR in any way. Another election-season threat comes from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who has repeatedly cited CPB as one of five agencies he’d extinguish. Sequestration, a byproduct of Congress’s inability to reach consensus on debt-reduction measures last summer, could also hit pubcasting, slicing 8 percent or more from the $445 million in federal funding that pubcasters anticipate for 2013. If sequestration occurs, the government could opt to hold back part of CPB’s 2013 appropriation — a move that would trigger a reduction in stations’ Community Service Grants.

APTS combats latest bids to defund CPB

Two of pubcasting’s chief critics on Capitol Hill have revived their bids to end CPB funding. Republican lawmakers Rep. Doug Lamborn (Colo.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) circulated letters last week asking colleagues to help them “permanently defund” CPB. They are targeting the $445 million advance-funded appropriation proposed for CPB in 2015. CPB’s requested appropriation “represents no reduction from its prior year appropriation level,” the lawmakers wrote. “While so many Americans are making sacrifices around the country to make ends meet, CPB appears unwilling to do the same.” They said the country is more than $15 trillion in debt, and ending support of CPB “should be one of the easier decisions to make.”

The lawmakers point to compensation of two top pubcasting execs to bolster their political case.

Closing of news bureau leaves regrets, questions

There was no shortage of ideas for keeping Capitol News Connection afloat. CNC’s stock in trade was chasing down politicians for local legislators’ take on the day’s developments in Congress. Before it was shuttered in September, public radio’s little nonprofit news bureau on Capitol Hill tried expanding into online news reporting, revising fees, selling localized coverage of Congress to newspapers and TV stations as well as pubradio, and developing widgets and apps to boost its income. As founder and CEO Melinda Wittstock worked relentlessly against recession economics to save the cash-strapped newsroom, she turned to a dot-org hope. Her conception for NewsIt, a crowdsourced social-media news platform, was perhaps her biggest idea to date.

House vote would axe CPB in 2013

Last time, in 2005, the emissary to Congress was Clifford the Big Red Dog. This time, it’s an aardvark named Arthur. Last time, lawmakers showed off boxes of 1 million petitions with signatures; now, the million signatures are digital. Back then, when the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee tried for a 25 percent cut in the CPB appropriation, public support moved the House to save it by a 2-to-1 vote. This year, no such luck.