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Federal Funding Facts

Federal funding provides critical seed money and basic operating support to local stations to help produce quality local programs and purchase national productions.  

How much money does CPR receive from the federal and state governments?

In FY2019, Cincinnati Public Radio (WGUC, WVXU and WMUB) received 5.6% of its operating revenue, or $416,689 from a federal grant through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

$71,703 was received in grants from the state of Ohio.

Annual federal funding for public broadcasting amounts to $1.35 per American – or in other words, .0001% of the federal budget.  Its elimination would have no real impact on the federal deficit.

Cincinnati Public Radio leverages each $1 of federal funding to raise $13 from local sources -- a tremendous return on the taxpayer investment.  

How much do other countries spend on public media?

Finland and Denmark spend over $100 per person on public media.
Slovenia spends almost $60 per person. Canada spends close to $30 per person.
What has happened in Congress?

Listeners in Greater Cincinnati and across the country let their representatives know that funding public broadcasting was important to them. As a result, Congress has continued to keep funding for public broadcasting in the federal budget.

However, there are Members of Congress who continue to call for the elimination of funding for public broadcasting and are working diligently toward that end.

It is still important to let your representatives know that funding public broadcasting is important to you.  

Why should public broadcasting receive federal funding?

Federal funding provides essential support that ensures universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming that educates, informs, enlightens, and enriches the public, with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children and minorities.  Not every American has access to cable or high speed Internet. Free radio and TV broadcasts are available to everyone.

Rural public broadcasting stations are even more reliant on federal funding than urban stations, and many would be forced to dramatically cut programming or go off the air if federal funds were cut.

For Cincinnati Public Radio, as well as public radio stations across the country, the loss of federal dollars has a domino effect. At Cincinnati Public Radio $500,000 would have to be replaced or cut from operating expenses. The largest expenses to Cincinnati Public Radio are programming fees and staffing. Both would need to be cut to maintain local services. With stations across the country going dark there will be fewer stations purchasing national programs causing higher programming fees or the discontinuation of some national programs. It begins a downward spiral from which it is difficult to recover.

Current laws prohibit advertising on public broadcasting stations. While corporate underwriting support plays a major role in supporting Cincinnati Public Radio’s operations and we are working to maximize its potential, the guidelines mandated by the FCC for sponsorship announcements do inhibit a funding model dominated by corporate support.  

Listener Support is Critical

Your support is critical to maintaining the public radio programs you enjoy on 91.7 WVXU and 88.5 WMUB.  Listener contributions are the largest, most reliable source of revenue for Cincinnati Public Radio. More than 50% of the operating budget comes from listener contributions and community foundations. Right now only 9% of listeners make a contribution. When more listeners participate, Cincinnati Public Radio’s revenue becomes more stable.   

Why should I become a Sustaining Member?

It’s Automatic: Your annual membership renews automatically.  You don’t have to remember when it is time to renew – and you save time.

It’s Green: The station will not have to mail you renewal notices, reducing mail and

It Saves Money: Fundraising costs are reduced and your contribution goes directly to programming and broadcasting expenses.

It’s Reliable: Cincinnati Public Radio can plan its revenue and expense more accurately.

Less On-Air Fundraising: The more revenue that comes in from sustaining members, the less on-air fundraising is needed.  

How does Sustaining Membership Work?

•    You designate the monthly amount you want to contribute on your credit or debit card.
•    WVXU takes care of the rest – charging your card once or month or once year until you notify us to stop.
•    When you’d like to stop payments, all you have to do it call.
•    Once a year on your anniversary date you’ll get the opportunity to choose a thank you gift (so you don’t miss out!)
•    You’ll automatically be entered in special fund drive drawings!
•    You’ll receive advance notice of station events!