CPB Sets Plan For Rescue Plan Act Funds
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting on Thursday announced that its board of directors unanimously approved a distribution plan for the $175 million of emergency stabilization funds for public media. The funds were included in the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law on March 11.
As enacted, the American Rescue Plan Act provides $175 million “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including for fiscal stabilization grants to public telecommunications entities, as defined in section 397 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 397), with no deduction for administrative or other costs of the Corporation, to maintain programming and services and preserve small and rural stations threatened by declines in non-Federal revenues.”
The distribution plan reflects the consensus recommendation of an advisory group of public radio and television system representatives convened by CPB in March. The group developed a simple, equitable and impactful funding formula that divides the $175 million among television and radio grantees and ensures the preservation of small or rural stations.
Of the $175 million, $100 million will be calculated using the CARES Act formula that was developed in April 2020 in order to prioritize funding to small, rural and/or minority stations. The remaining $75 million will be distributed according to the respective television and radio Community Service Grant (CSG) formulas, which also take into account stations’ service to rural communities, as well as the number of transmitters needed to cover large geographic areas, and the amount raised in non-federal financial support (NFFS).
“Public media stations across the country are informing their local communities about the latest coronavirus vaccine and economic developments, increasing access to remote learning with innovative educational resources, and providing vital health and safety information,” said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “The stabilization funding from Congress will support essential public media services and sustain the broad reach and access that keeps public media resources available online, over-the-air and in communities across the country. I want to express our deep appreciation to Congress for their strong, bipartisan support of public media. I would also like to thank the advisory group that worked so quickly to develop a thoughtful plan for equitably distributing these much-needed funds in a way that honors Congress’ intent.”
CPB said it will expeditiously distribute the American Rescue Plan stabilization grants to each station licensee. A list of grantees and their grant amounts can be found on the CPB website.