Funding boost from universities helps Iowa Public Radio after difficult year

Iowa’s Board of Regents voted to increase funding for Iowa Public Radio Thursday after hearing details of the pubcaster’s financial struggles in the wake of a CEO’s departure. The seven regents unanimously agreed to boost IPR’s fiscal year 2015 funding by $236,000. The decision restores support from the state universities to its FY2013 level of $944,800, almost a quarter of IPR’s total revenues that year. IPR, comprising six stations licensed to three public universities, has been adjusting to reduced subsidies from the schools, which have scaled back aid by 10 percent each year since 2011. IPR aims to be free of university funding in 2017.

One ouster leads to another at Iowa Public Radio

When the board of Iowa Public Radio voted to remove Mary Grace Herrington as c.e.o. Feb. 25, the directors were responding to mounting evidence of declining staff morale at the state network. Dissension over Herrington’s leadership was sparked at least in part by her decision to fire a popular news director last year. The sole “no” in the IPR board’s 6-1 vote was cast by a newly appointed director who was attending his first meeting. Herrington had been chief executive since 2009, leading IPR through a signal expansion and format differentiation that created two distinct public radio channels for Iowans.