In addition to member support, WAMU 88.5 is partially funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, non-profit corporation that was created by Congress in 1967.
CPB receives funding from the federal government as a Congressional appropriation. CPB then distributes federal dollars to more than 1,300 public broadcasters across the country in the form of Community Service Grants and restricted Program Grants.
Public broadcasting stations range in size from the very small to the very large. Some depend on CPB funding for the majority of their operating revenues; for others, the grants represent a small portion of their overall operating budget. WAMU 88.5 receives about 5 percent of its operating budget from CPB.
If you'd like to learn more about funding issues affecting public broadcasting, go to Protect My Public Media.
On April 15, Congress passed legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The bill includes $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s two-year advance funding for fiscal year (FY) 2013; $6 million for digital transition assistance; and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2 percent. This concludes the FY 2011 appropriations process.
As attention turns to FY 2012, we are mindful that preservation of federal funding is far from certain. Also on April 15, the House approved the $1.019 trillion fiscal year 2012 budget resolution (H Con Res 34), which allocates less discretionary spending than the $1.121 trillion discretionary request included in the Administration’s FY 12 budget proposal. The measure passed 235-193. The House budget blueprint seeks deep spending cuts for fiscal 2012. The Senate is expected to release its plan after returning in May from the two-week spring recess. While the budget resolution does not have the force of law, it sets the guidelines for other legislation, including tax bills. One of its most important functions is to tell the House Appropriations Committee how much it has for the annual appropriations measures. Committee report language accompanying the House budget resolution includes the following:
Encourage Private Funding for Cultural Agencies. Federal subsidies for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting can no longer be justified. The activities and content funded by these agencies go beyond the core mission of the Federal Government and they are generally enjoyed by people of higher education and income levels, making them a wealth transfer from poorer to wealthier citizens. These agencies can raise funds from private-sector patrons—which will also free them from any risk of political interference.
If you have an opinion about this committee report, please visit protectmypublicmedia.org to learn how to make that opinion heard.