NPR engages lobbying firm


NPR / National Public RadioNational Public Radio will have representation in the halls of Congress, not for its non-profit radio network, but for its other incarnation as a trade organization for noncommercial radio stations.

The move comes in the wake of yet another attempt by House Republicans to zero out federal funding for public broadcasting. At the time, NPR expressed its misgivings about the effort. NPR President/CEO Gary Knell stated, “We are disappointed and troubled by these proposals and we and our Member Stations are actively engaging with Members of Congress to explain the damage it would do to public radio and television stations if enacted. Over 34 million people rely on public radio stations every week for fact-based, independent news they can trust, for civic and civil dialogue, and for music and cultural programming that can’t be found anywhere else.”

According to a Hillicon Valley article, NPR stated it is aware of the need to assess all government spending at a time when the government is running a deficit. However, it feels it can justify the small amount of money it gets each year in terms of value returned.

NPR gets most of its operating funds from listener contributions, and so do many of its larger member stations. However, many stations serving areas with smaller populations rely for a larger percentage of their operating income on money that comes indirectly from the federal government via CPB.

The lobbiests at Navigators Global will be charged with the task of explaining NPR’s story to members of Congress. NPR emphasized that no federal money is being used to pay the firm.