Data and Policy Analyst for Radio and Television Community Service Grants System Consultation

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See guidelines for specific qualifications.


June 15, 2018

Request for Proposals

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) seeks to engage an Analyst to assist and advise CPB with a review of its Community Service Grant (CSG) programs for public television and radio stations. CPB is funded through an annual appropriation from Congress, and the CSG programs are the mechanism for distributing 65% of the appropriation directly to stations. This review will examine the policies governing CSGs to ensure effective stewardship of the federal appropriation while meeting the mandates of federal laws concerning public broadcasting.

Multiple factors make this CSG review timely and relevant. A decade after an economic recession, there are uneven patterns of recovery around the nation that may affect stations’ ability to fundraise. CPB’s federal appropriation has been flat for seven years. Digital technology is changing the way audiences find, consume, and interact with content. The review process will take these circumstances and others into account as it examines whether any revisions are needed in the CSG program.

Please download the Request for Proposals below for detailed information, including application requirements.
PDF icon Request for Proposals206.31 KB

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 

Tools CPB uses to collect data from stations:

CSG program:
Financial Reporting Guidelines:
Station Activities Survey (SAS):
Station Activities Benchmarking Survey (SABS):

Why Nielsen Media lags? Isn't that data available in real-time?

The dataset used to create the Average Quarter Hour, Cume and Minority station information for the 408 CPB Radio CSG grantees is the last dataset generated by Nielsen Audio and is received by the third-party data aggregator 9 to 11 months after each rating period.

Do CSG funds provide flexibility in the event of drastic cuts in state funding, such as Virgina's $424K cut in 2012?

CSG funds are calculated based on formula and there is no mechanism in the formula to compensate stations for reductions in other funding sources. That said, in 2016, the TV CSG program added the Healthy Station Initiative to support stations in making the changes and adding efficiencies necessary to adapt to flat or downsized funding and/or to re-direct savings to invest in innovation and services.

On pg. 6, CPB has requested under “Additional Information” that the Analyst provide examples of data collection and final reports from similar recent projects. Given our respect for client confidentiality, we will likely not be able to provide full reports and data sets. Would scrubbed samples of graphics/formatting together with narrative descriptions be acceptable?

Anonymized examples are acceptable.

In the Cost selection criteria on pg. 6, the RFP states that “hours and rates” for each person will be evaluated. The Cost Proposal requirements on pg. 6, however, does not request hours. Please confirm that the Analyst should provide hours for each person.

Applicants should provide the hourly rates for the personnel it anticipates assigning to the project.

Will this contract be Time and Materials or Fixed Price?

Time and materials.

Is it anticipated that any travel will be required if the Analyst is local to the DC area?


The RFP lists numerous touchpoints with the system and with the Board. Is this list exhaustive, or does CPB anticipate that the Analyst will need to help prepare for additional meetings with the system to socialize findings/proposals?

We do not anticipate additional meetings with the system.

What information will the Analyst be provided by CPB once the contract is executed? E.g., Models and results from prior policy reviews? Specific data sets (beyond the audited financial statements mentioned on pg. 3)?

CPB will provide data, including financial, audience and technical data such as coverage area populations. Please refer to the webinar for additional information.

Does CPB desire one contractor to cover both television and radio—or willing to entertain two separate contracts?

CPB will consider securing services through separate vendors.

Are any socioeconomic factors currently used in the CSG grant calculations? If so, will this information be available?

CPB uses population and audience data as well as financial information to determine the Rural, Urban and Minority designations and Radio levels and eligibility of grantees. Some data may be available for use in the analysis. Additional information on this topic is addressed in the webinar which is available at:

What is the current structure of the incentive grant? Is there an existing review process to measure the success of such grants?

The incentive grant is intended to encourage eligible grantees to raise non-federal financial support (NFFS), i.e. funding, from any source except the federal government or a public broadcasting entity. It is calculated by applying the incentive rate of return to each grantee’s adjusted NFFS. We would like the consultant to quantify the extent to which this grant has incentivized the growth of NFFS for public broadcasting.

What, if any, metrics has CPB used in the past to evaluate the CPB objectives (as outlined on the first page of the RFP).

CPB has some metrics for its objectives which may be improved or refined as a result of the CSG review process. The metrics were discussed at our recent webinar which is available on our website

Does CPB subscribe to any third-party data sources and if so, which ones? Will CPB provide these databases to the consultant?

CPB receives radio audience estimates and station technical data and coverage area population information from third-party providers and will make it available to the consultant.

Is it correct that CPB will be providing an electronic database of financial statements of each grantee or for all selected grantees, if a random sample is determined to be an acceptable methodology? For how many past years?

CPB will provide the applicant with each grantee’s AFR or FSR, whichever is required, in an electronic database. The information collected in CPB’s Integrated Station Information System is available for the past 11 years; however, depending on the analysis, the review may be limited to more recent information. CPB will not be able to provide audited financial statements for grantees.

Do the grantees utilize a uniform financial statement or will each grantee differ in how/where revenues or expenses are categorized?

Each CSG grantee provides CPB with its standardized Annual Financial Report (AFR) or Financial Summary Report (FSR). Financial Reporting Guidelines:

Would a stratified random sample be acceptable or will CPB require/expect the contractor to evaluate each grantee---television and radio?

In its review of the Radio and TV CSG program, CPB expects it will examine the impact of any potential changes or adjustments on all 408 Radio and 164 TV CSG grantees.