Rep. Lamborn once again targets funding for NPR on Capitol Hill

Republican Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn today reintroduced legislation to kill federal funding for NPR. Its language is identical to his bill that passed the House in 2011, which prohibited stations from using CPB funds to acquire programming or pay NPR dues. That bill never made it to the floor of the Senate. "At a time when millions of federal works are being furloughed, schoolchildren are barred from visiting the White House, and many military training flights are grounded to save money, it is unacceptable that taxpayers are still on the hook for millions of dollars each year to subsidize National Public Radio," he said in a statement. "Additionally, it was highly inappropriate for NPR to move into a lavish new headquarters building partly paid for by taxpayers, many of whom continue to struggle under the worst economy since the Great Depression." Continue Reading

Pacifica misses CPB deadlines, holding up funding for stations

CPB has withheld financial support for the Pacifica Foundation’s five radio stations after the organization missed deadlines for fixing errors and shortcomings in its accounting and operations. The errors were discovered during a CPB audit last year that cited Pacifica for insufficient accounting practices, misreported revenues and failure to comply with CPB rules on open meetings and financial transparency. The withholding of CPB funding hits Pacifica at a precarious time as its stations struggle to raise enough money to pay rent and staff. WBAI, Pacifica’s New York station, fell short of its on-air fundraising goal in May by 45 percent, or $343,000. The station can’t cover its June payroll or rent for its antenna, according to a June 9 email by Berthold Reimers, g.m., to members of WBAI’s board. Continue Reading

CPB recognizes Moore, an author and youth advocate, as a pubcasting “Thought Leader”

Wes Moore, the host of Beyond Belief on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and author of the bestseller The Other Wes Moore, won CPB’s Thought Leader Award, which honors those who assist public media in the areas of education, journalism and the arts. A U.S. Army combat veteran who serves on the board of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and as founder of STAND!, an organization that supports youth caught up in the criminal justice system, Moore also hosts the forthcoming PBS primetime series Coming Back, which chronicles the returns of nine veterans from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Wes Moore is an inspiring advocate for America’s youth and a champion for public media’s American Graduate initiative,” said Patricia Harrison, CPB president. The award was presented during the PBS Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Fla.  
Send awards notices to currentawards@gmail.com. Continue Reading

APTS chief sees renewed battle over CPB aid

APTS President Patrick Butler is warning public broadcasters of continued threats to their federal funding this summer as Congress takes up work on appropriations for the next federal budget. During an appearance at the Public Media Business Association conference this morning, Butler recalled a private meeting with a key House Republican from Georgia who opposes federal aid to CPB. Rep. Jack Kingston, chair of the House appropriations subcommittee with oversight over CPB, told Butler that he plans to zero-out CPB funding. “He told me point blank, in January, that he was going to do everything he could to eliminate our funding," Butler said during a PMBA breakfast meeting at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Public TV’s top lobbyist expects Kingston to introduce the bill in June. "I'm sure there will be a big zero in his bill for public broadcasting," he said. Continue Reading

Appropriation cuts lead to layoffs and furloughs throughout CPB

CPB has laid off 12 employees and eliminated three vacant positions in a downsizing prompted by the federal budget sequestration and other cuts to its appropriation. The job cuts, announced today, extend across all departments and range from administrative to vice president levels, said Michael Levy, executive v.p. of corporate and public affairs. Taken together, the downsizing reduces CPB’s workforce by 11 percent. CPB will also trim its payroll by requiring all senior vice presidents and executive officers to take one-week furloughs before Sept. 30, the end of CPB’s fiscal year. Continue Reading