NPR Chief Changes Her Tune… Now Says Defunding NPR Would Be Devastating

Rodney Ho at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution was the first reporter to interview NPR CEO Vivian Schiller after analyst Juan Williams was fired in October.

She claimed government contributions to NPR were “negligent.”

Q: Could NPR live without federal funding?

A: Let’s go on a sidebar. There’s a misperception about federal funding and public radio. There’s the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. They receive $90 million a year and a vast majority goes to member public radio stations. Those stations pull in more than $1 billion collectively a year. It’s significant and important but not even close to the lion’s share of revenues for public radio. NPR gets no allocation from CPB. Zero. We are a private 501(c)3. We’ve had journalists call up and ask what department of the government we report to. That’s laughable. Have you listened to our shows? We do apply for competitive grants from the likes of the Ford Foundation and the Knight Foundation. As a result, some money from CPB does come to us when we win grants. Depending on the year, it represents just one to three percent of our total budget.

Q: What is your annual budget?

A: $160 million a year from station fees and dues, corporate underwriting, philanthropic contributions from individuals and corporation and earned income and earnings from our endowment.

But, that was before Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.
This weekend Viv Schiller told reporters that defunding NPR would be devastating.
The Daily Caller reported:

Speaking at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington Sunday on the “Future of Journalism,” National Public Radio President and CEO Vivian Schiller said she takes calls for defunding NPR “very seriously,” while stressing how important government funding is for public broadcasting, especially for NPR’s member stations. She also recognized there’s a possibility that, with the new GOP majority in the House, those calls for defunding might be renewed.

“If defunding to public broadcasting were to occur, it would be devastating to public broadcasting. That’s a fact,” Schiller said.

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