Community Service Grant

7 in favor, 1 absent

WHEREAS,

Under the provisions of the Public Broadcasting Act, CPB makes grants to eligible public television and radio stations through the Community Service Grant (CSG) program in a manner intended to provide for the needs and requirements of stations so that they may serve their local communities and audiences; and

WHEREAS,

CPB management has undertaken a review of TV CSG policy in consultation with a TV CSG Review Panel of public television station representatives who have considered the implications of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) upcoming Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction; and

WHEREAS,

Public television licensees need to know how the relinquishment of some or all of a licensee's spectrum and the receipt of auction proceeds will affect their CSGs in order to make informed decisions about whether and how to participate in the auction;

WHEREAS,

CPB management, having considered the recommendations of the TV CSG Review Panel, has presented proposed policy changes to the CPB Board's Broadcast Spectrum Committee,

WHEREAS

The CPB Broadcast Spectrum Committee has considered and endorsed management's proposed changes with amendments and has presented them to the CPB Board of Directors;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED

That the Board of Directors approves the changes to CSG policy as outlined in the attached.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED

That the Board directs CPB management to takes steps to communicate the following statement regarding transparency to stations:

Public media licensees have an ethical obligation to their communities to conduct their activities in a transparent and accountable manner, consistent with legal and confidentiality obligations. Because public media licensees hold spectrum in trust for the public, CPB expects those whose planned participation in the Spectrum Auction would significantly reduce or terminate their level of service to their community to exercise transparency and to solicit public comment and recommendations as appropriate.

2015 TV CSG Policy Changes Related to the Broadcast Spectrum Auction as Adopted by the CPB Board of Directors on April 14, 2015

AUCTION REVENUE DOES NOT QUALIFY AS NFFS

Any revenues received by stations resulting from the Spectrum Auction, including interest and dividends earned on auction revenues, will not be eligible as NFFS.

AUCTION REVENUE AND THE CSG PROGRAM

No additional policy change is recommended. By restricting all auction revenue from NFFS eligibility, CPB is already taking important steps to ensure an equitable CSG policy.

MINIMUM TECHNICAL STANDARD FOR CSG ELIGIBILITY

In a channel sharing agreement between two public television stations, each CSG-eligible station will maintain its CSG eligibility. When a licensee has the right to use less than half of the capacity of the shared channel, its CSG may be adjusted.

In a channel sharing agreement between a public television station and a commercial station, the CSG-eligible station must have the right to use at least one-half of the total capacity of the shared channel.

In both cases the agreements may provide flexibility to allow stations to use more or less bandwidth at a given time, depending on the content being aired - a process called dynamic multiplexing - to optimize technical quality of all transmissions over the shared channel.

LICENSE RELINQUISHMENT AND RETURN OF CSG FUNDS

A grantee that relinquishes its license in the Spectrum Auction and ceases broadcast operations entirely will be required to return all CSG funds from any open grant period. The exceptions are in cases where two grantees merge, or where a licensee holds multiple stations and at least one of its stations is CSG-eligible and continues to broadcast.

Resolution Date: 
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Unanimously

WHEREAS,

Most of the federal funds appropriated to CPB are provided directly to public broadcasting stations each fiscal year through CPB's Community Service Grant (CSG) program in two equal payments in the fall and spring;

WHEREAS,

The importance of CSG support has increased due to the current economic environment; and

WHEREAS,

In August of 2012 the CPB Board of Directors authorized CPB management to modify the disbursement practices of the CSG program for FY 2013 and FY 2014 to provide 70 percent of the CSG to stations in the first payment and 30 percent in the second.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,

The CPB Board of Directors authorizes CPB management to continue the modified disbursement practices of the CSG program for FY 2015 and FY 2016 to provide 70 percent of the CSG to stations in the first payment and 30 percent in the second.

Resolution Date: 
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Unanimously

WHEREAS,

Under the provision of the Public Broadcasting Act, CPB makes grants to eligible public radio stations in a manner intended to provide for the needs and requirements of stations so that they may serve their local communities and audiences; and

WHEREAS,

The Community Service Grant program is the primary mechanism for CPB to provide this financial support to local stations; and

WHEREAS,

The economic and media environment in which public radio operates has changed significantly since the last Community Service Grant (CSG) policy review, bringing new challenges and opportunities to public radio; and

WHEREAS,

CPB management completed a consultation with the public radio system that considered changes to CSG policy, convened a panel of radio station representatives and other system leaders, and invited and received extensive comment directly from public radio stations as part of this consultation process; and

WHEREAS,

The Radio Community Service Grant Review Panel has made a series of recommendations to CPB management, those recommendations have been reviewed by management and shared with the public radio system, and now are recommended by management to the CPB Board.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT

The CPB Board of Directors hereby adopts CPB management's recommendations for changes to Radio Community Service Grant policy as outlined in the attached materials and authorizes CPB to implement these changes including adjustments as may be necessary and appropriate, consistent with the stated goals upon which the recommendations are based.

Resolution Date: 
Monday, April 22, 2013
Unanimously

WHEREAS,

The federal investment is indispensible to sustaining the operation of public broadcasting stations, the public service missions they pursue, and the universal service to which The Public Broadcasting Act aspires; and

WHEREAS,

Most of the federal funds appropriated to CPB are provided directly to public broadcasting stations each fiscal year through CPB's Community Service Grant (CSG) program in two equal payments in the fall and spring; and

WHEREAS,

The importance of CSG support has increased significantly due to the current economic environment.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,

The CPB Board of Directors authorizes CPB management to modify the disbursement practices of the CSG program for FY 2013 and FY 2014 to provide 70% of the CSG to stations in the first payment and 30% in the second.

Resolution Date: 
Monday, August 27, 2012
8 in favor; 1 abstention

WHEREAS,

Under the provision of the Public Broadcasting Act, CPB makes grants to eligible public television stations in a manner intended to provide for the needs and requirements of stations so that they may serve their local communities and audiences; and

WHEREAS,

The Community Service Grant program is the primary mechanism for CPB to provide this financial support to local stations; and

WHEREAS,

The economic and media environment in which public television operates has changed significantly since the last Community Service Grant (CSG) policy review, bring new challenges and opportunities to public television; and

WHEREAS,

CPB management has completed a consultation with the public television system that considered changes to CSG policy, convening a panel of television station representatives and inviting and receiving extensive comment directly from public television stations as part of this consultation process; and

WHEREAS,

The Community Service Grant Review Panel has made a series of recommendations to CPB management, those recommendations have been reviewed by management, refined, shared with the public television system for further comment, and now are recommended by management to the CPB Board.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT

The CPB Board of Directors hereby adopts CPB management's recommendations for changes to television Community Service Grant policy in the attached report, as revised by the CPB Board in its meeting of September 22, 2010.

Resolution Date: 
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Unanimously

RESOLVED,

That the CPB Board of Directors hereby adopts CPB management's recommendation to amend the Community Service Grant policy for radio as set forth in the attached draft.

Resolution Date: 
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
7 in favor, 1 abstained

BACKGROUND

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has begun developing several scenarios to provide assistance to stations that contact CPB through the Stations in Financial Distress program. One option has been to advance TV Community Service Grants (CSG) to television stations in financial distress to assist them with cash flow issues when no other financing options are available to them.

CPB convened a small, representative panel of public television station general managers, as well as ex-officio national representatives from PBS and APTS, to provide recommendations for the principles and parameters of such a program.1 This program would only affect the FY 2010 TV CSG as the panel recommended that the issue of the TV CSG advance be on the agenda for the upcoming TV CSG Review. The panel's recommendations were presented to the CPB Board of Directors for consideration.

RESOLUTION

Be it resolved, that the CPB Board of Directors has considered the panel's and CPB management's recommendations and adopts the following principles and parameters for advancing TV CSG funds to financially distressed stations as an interim amendment to the TV CSG policy (7 in favor, 1 abstained):

Principles:

An advance should be a last resort for stations and only when absolutely necessary;

An advance should not be given to stations whose long-term sustainability is reasonably considered by CPB to be doubtful;

When possible, an advance should be secured to the extent available with station assets to mitigate risk of default; and

CPB and PBS should exchange information regarding the current financial status of the station requesting support, but the decision to provide the CPB CSG advance or the deferment of PBS dues must be made independently.

Parameters:

Eligibility: only television stations contacting CPB through the Stations in Financial Distress program are eligible;

Size of pool: 1% of TV CSG pool (for FY2010, the TV CSG pool will be $210,262,500; therefore, the TV CSG advance reserve will be $2,102,625);

Advance cap for station: no larger than 50% of the station's upcoming CSG and cannot exceed 20% of the reserve pool ($420,525);

Payback period: up to four years; Interest free; and

Waiting period: a station must wait at least three years after it has completed paying back its CSG advance prior to asking for another CSG advance and cannot receive simultaneous multiple CSG advances.

This policy shall remain in effect until the CPB Board of Directors is presented with the recommendations of the 2009/2010 TV CSG consultation panel.

Panelists

Malcolm Brett, Wisconsin Public Television

Joe Bruns, WETA

David Dial, WNIN

Joyce Herring, PBS (ex-officio)

Michael Jones, PBS (ex-officio)

Lonna Thompson, APTS (ex-officio)

Resolution Date: 
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Five in favor, two absent

WHEREAS,

the transition of public television and radio stations to digital technology offers stations the capacity to deliver a variety of new programming and information far beyond the single program schedule they broadcast as analog stations; and

WHEREAS,

the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has traditionally determined the stations' eligibility for Television and Radio Community Service Grants based on criteria identifying programming that qualifies, and programming that does not qualify, for those grants; and

WHEREAS,

in the past, the Corporation's eligibility criteria have been applied to stations' analog schedules, without direction or qualification as to the amount of alternative, non-qualifying programs that stations may offer in addition to their CPB-qualified program schedules, particularly as the same might be multicast on separate digital channels; and

WHEREAS,

recipients of CPB's Television and Radio Community Service Grants should be permitted to explore opportunities to use their digital capacity for the delivery new programming and services that may improve their performance and better serve their communities, provided that they continue to provide CPB-qualified public service programming consistent with the Communications Act and applicable CPB policies; and

WHEREAS,

CPB's Management has evaluated this issue in consultation with representatives of public television and radio stations and has requested authorization to amend the CSG eligibility criteria as provided in this Resolution.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,

that the Board of Directors authorizes CPB Management to amend its eligibility criteria for Television and Radio Community Service Grants, as they relate to station program schedules, so that:

1. The substantial majority of the total programming broadcast by each grantee shall qualify under CPB's program schedule eligibility criteria.

2. Community Service Grant funds may not be used for the production, acquisition or distribution of programs which do not qualify under CPB's program schedule eligibility criteria.

3. Revenue from programming, and from products or services related to such programming, that does not qualify under CPB's program schedule eligibility criteria shall not be included in Non-Federal Financial Support for the purpose of calculating any grant from CPB.

Resolution Date: 
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Six in favor, two absent

WHEREAS,

Under the provision of the Public Broadcasting Act, CPB makes grants to eligible public television stations in a manner intended to provide for the needs and requirements of stations so that they may serve their local communities and audiences; and

WHEREAS,

The Community Service Grant program is the primary mechanism for CPB to provide this financial support to local stations; and

WHEREAS,

CPB management completed a consultation with the public television system that considered changes to CSG policy, convening a panel of television station representatives and inviting and receiving extensive comment directly from public television stations as part of this consultation process; and

WHEREAS,

The Community Service Grant Review Panel has made a series of recommendations to CPB management, those recommendations have been reviewed by management, refined, and now are recommended by management to the CPB Board.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT

The CPB Board of Directors hereby adopts CPB management's recommendations for changes to public television Community Service Grant policy as outlined in the attached report.

Resolution Date: 
Monday, August 6, 2007
Unanimously

WHEREAS,

Under the provision of the Public Broadcasting Act, CPB makes grants to eligible public radio stations in a manner intended to provide for the needs and requirements of stations so that they may serve their local communities and audiences; and

WHEREAS,

The Community Service Grant program is the primary mechanism for CPB to provide this financial support to local stations; and

WHEREAS,

The media environment in which public radio operates has changed significantly since the last Community Service Grant (CSG) policy review, bringing new challenges and opportunities to public radio; and

WHEREAS,

CPB management has completed a consultation with the public radio system that considered changes to CSG policy, convening a panel of radio station representatives and inviting and receiving extensive comment directly from public radio stations as part of this consultation process; and

WHEREAS,

The Community Service Grant Review Panel has made a series of recommendations to CPB management, those recommendations have been reviewed by management, refined, shared with the public radio system for further comment, and now are recommended by management to the CPB Board.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT

The CPB Board of Directors hereby adopts CPB management's recommendations for changes to radio Community Service Grant policy as outlined in the attached report.

Resolution Date: 
Monday, September 26, 2005