Gordon is teaching my students about the public service and commercial
models of broadcasting. Originally, the purpose of the airways was to
serve the public. Back then, licenses were primarily given to
educational and religious entities. According to Gordon, it was 1967
when then President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting
Act which created PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and
NPR. Revenue for NPR primarily comes from listeners. They are in
better shape than PBS because PBS has to compete with the History
Channel, A&E, etc.
Of course, NPR just cut nearly 100 jobs. The sizeable 300M donation
from Joan Kroc, McDonalds family is not yielding the returns it was
before the market crashed.
Public radio listeners are very involved and the personal value is
high. People really don't want giveaways when they donate. 70 percent
prefer to keep money in the system.
The bigger question is what can be learned from NPR in terms of