Financial Challenges to Noncommercial Broadcast Funding - What Is the FCC Doing?

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
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As Federal funding to public broadcasters faces serious challenge in a Washington looking to cut the budget for all but the most essential government services, and where voluntary contributions to all noncommercial broadcasters have been constrained by the economic issues faced by the entire nation, more and more noncommercial broadcasters are facing tough questions about the future. We've seen colleges and municipalities sell stations that have been community fixtures for decades, and noncommercial groups (including some religious broadcasters) deciding to call it a day and liquidate their holdings. At the same time, the ratings success of many noncommercial broadcasters (both public broadcasters and those owned by religious or other community organizations), especially in the radio world, are showing much success in developing a large listening audience. With noncommercial stations, by law restricted to raising funds without commercial advertising, many are looking for new ways of operating. How are FCC regulations and interpretations reacting to these new realities?

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