Read this shockingly prescient 1970 mission statement for the precursor to NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’

In a previously unpublished grant application, NPR founding father Bill Siemering proposed a show on WBFO in Buffalo, N.Y., “growing out of the need for cross-cultural communication and capitalizing on the unique characteristics of public radio.”

Drop the stuffy presentation style for classical radio and the format will thrive

To the Editors,

I read Ben Mook’s Feb. 11 piece about the de-commercialization of classical radio with a mixture of sadness and muted happiness. The fact that the attrition has slowed is indeed a positive, but the stubborn misconception that classical music cannot be a successful commercial radio format is simply wrong and quite depressing. The problem lies not in the music — for, indeed, properly programmed classical music on the radio has been, and can be, commercially viable — but in the music-academy approach to presentation that dooms any attempt to draw in new listeners. Classical music can be day-parted and made accessible, probably more so than almost any other genre of music.

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.