2006 Public Radio Program Fund: Frequently Asked Questions

We've received a number of questions on the Talent Quest component of the RFP. The following FAQs should provide some clarification:

What is the intent of the Talent Quest? Doesn't public radio have a lot of great on-air talent?

Yes, there is a wealth of talent on the public radio airwaves, but with the emergence of new platforms, our desire to reach a more diverse audience and the maturing of many of our favorite programs, we think there is room for new voices. In our consultation with system leaders last November, they urged CPB to find a way to identify new on-air talent. We agree that public radio should address this challenge.

The RFP says to identify three new on-air talents. Do I have to name them in the application?

No. This is a talent search. You have to organize a team to conduct the search and then tell us how you're going to find the new on-air hosts. Outline your strategy and methodology for the search. Be creative! You can hold auditions, listen to Internet streams and podcasts. There is no one right way to find new talent, but we do expect you to be thorough and use this opportunity to explore new possibilities.

Why do I have to organize a team to search for new talent? Why can't my station just submit an application and a pilot for one of our hosts?

The goal is for each team to find three new national caliber on-air hosts. We think a team approach allows for different people with different perspectives to come together and devote all of their time and energy to this project over the course of the one-year grant. We would like to see teams searching inside and outside of public radio for new talent. If you have a local program that you think is ready to for a national audience, there are other categories of the RFP where you can submit an application for that program.

Why are there two competing teams?

Using two teams results in identifying six new on-air hosts. We think surfacing half a dozen new people will have a significant impact on the system. We also believe competition will sharpen the search, plus it just makes it a little more fun! Each team receives $250,000 to come up with the best new talent (defined as someone who has never hosted a national program before) and produce pilots. CPB staff and a panel of reviewers will listen to the pilots and recommend one of the new hosts for additional funding to further develop a program and bring it to the public radio marketplace.

Contact CPB

If you have specific questions about the RFP, please contact Kathy Merritt, Senior Manager, Program Investments, at 202-879-9631 or kmerritt@cpb.org.

Remember, the deadline is March 31, 2006.

About CPB

CPB promotes the growth and development of public media in communities throughout America.

Programs & Projects

CPB awards grants to stations and independent producers to create programs and services.