CPB approves plan to divide up $175M in emergency funding

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Dru Sefton/Current

CPB announced Thursday that it will distribute $175 million in federal emergency relief funds to stations by following Community Service Grant formulas, while devoting additional funds to small, rural and minority stations.

In a news release, CPB said television and radio stations will receive separate pools of approximately $87.5 million. 

CPB will prioritize $100 million of the funds for smaller stations, while the remaining $75 million will be distributed according to CSG formulas. CPB released funding amounts for all stations.

The distribution plan mirrors last year’s handling of $75 million in relief funds. In a note to GMs, Harrison said CPB held listening sessions with more than 140 GMs to determine how to distribute the funding.

In a separate memo, CPB said the emergency funds are to “maintain programming and services” and are not intended to cover costs of technology initiatives, such as transitions to ATSC 3.0. “However, if a station needs to make an urgent equipment replacement and does so with equipment that is ATSC 3-ready, it would be an appropriate use of these stabilization funds,” CPB said. 

Licensees cannot “withhold” or restrict the station’s use of the emergency funds, CPB said, and they “may not be used to supplant funds or reduce budgets for other support already being provided to the station(s) by licensee.”

The relief package that included the $175 million in funding was signed by President Joe Biden last month.

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