NPR

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NPR is a privately and publicly funded American non-profit membership media organization based in Washington, D.C. NPR differs from other non-profit membership media organizations, such as AP, in that it was established by an act of Congress and most of its member stations are owned by government entities (often public universities). It serves as a national syndicator to a network of over 1,000 public radio stations in the United States.
NPR produces and distributes news and cultural programming. The organization’s flagship shows are two drive-time news broadcasts, Morning Edition and the afternoon All Things Considered; both are carried by most NPR member stations, and are among the most popular radio programs in the country. In 2018, the drive time programs attract an audience of 14.9 million and 14.7 million per week respectively.

NPR manages the Public Radio Satellite System, which distributes NPR programs and other programming from independent producers and networks such as American Public Media and Public Radio International. Its content is also available on-demand online, on mobile networks, and, in many cases, as podcasts.

NPR History

(NPR) National Public Radio replaced the National Educational Radio Network on February 26, 1970, following Congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. This act was signed into law by 36th President Lyndon B. Johnson, and established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which also created the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) for television in addition to NPR.

A CPB organizing committee under John Witherspoon first created a board of directors chaired by Bernard Mayes.The board then hired Donald Quayle to be the first president of NPR with 30 employees and 90 charter member local stations, and studios in Washington, D.C. NPR aired its first broadcast on April 20, 1971, covering United States Senate hearings on the ongoing Vietnam War in Southeast Asia.

The afternoon drive-time newscast All Things Considered premiered on May 3, 1971, first hosted by Robert Conley. NPR was primarily a production and distribution organization until 1977, when it merged with the Association of Public Radio Stations. Morning Edition premiered on November 5, 1979, first hosted by Bob Edwards.

NPR suffered an almost-fatal setback in 1983 when efforts to expand services created a deficit of nearly $7 million (equivalent to $18 million in 2018 dollars). After a Congressional investigation and the resignation of NPR’s then-president Frank Mankiewicz, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting agreed to lend the network money in order to stave off bankruptcy.

In exchange, NPR agreed to a new arrangement whereby the annual CPB stipend that it had previously received directly would be divided among local stations instead; in turn, those stations would support NPR productions on a subscription basis. NPR agreed to turn its satellite service into a cooperative venture (the Public Radio Satellite System), making it possible for non-NPR shows to get national distribution. It took NPR approximately three years to pay off the debt.

NPR spent nearly $13 million to acquire and equip a West Coast 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) production facility, NPR West, which opened in Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, in November 2002.

With room for up to 90 employees, it was established to expand its production capabilities, improve its coverage of the western United States, and create a backup production facility capable of keeping NPR on the air in the event of a catastrophe in Washington, D.C. In November 2003, NPR received $235 million from the estate of the late Joan B. Kroc, the widow of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s Corporation. This was the largest monetary gift ever to a cultural institution.

In 2004 NPR’s budget increased by over 50% to $153 million due to the Kroc gift. Of the money, $34 million was deposited in its endowment. The endowment fund before the gift totaled $35 million. NPR will use the interest from the bequest to expand its news staff and reduce some member stations’ fees. The 2005 budget was about $120 million.

In August 2005, NPR entered podcasting with a directory of over 170 programs created by NPR and member stations. By November of that year, users downloaded NPR and other public radio podcasts 5 million times. Ten years later, by March 2015, users downloaded podcasts produced only by NPR 94 million times, and NPR podcasts like Fresh Air and the TED Radio Hour routinely made the iTunes Top Podcasts list.

NPR Podcast

  • This Podcast Has Fleas
  • RadioWest
  • Life Kit: Health
  • Food, We Need To Talk
  • Marketplace (radio program)
  • Code Switch
  • Coronavirus Daily
  • Invisibilia
  • TED Radio Hour
  • Fresh Air
  • Planet Money
    Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
  • Student Podcast Challenge
  • How I Built This
  • The Indicator from Planet Money
  • NPR News Now
  • Throughline
  • It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders
  • npr politics podcast
  • Short Wave
  • Ask Me Another
  • This American Life
  • Car Talk
  • Only a Game
  • Art On The Air
  • Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

NPR Chicago

NPR Chicago is a nonprofit public radio station broadcasting from Chicago, Illinois. Financed by corporate underwriting, government funding and listener contributions, the station is affiliated with both National Public Radio and Public Radio International; it also broadcasts content from American Public Media. The station and its parent organization were previously known as Chicago Public Radio; since 2010, the parent company has been known as Chicago Public Media. Some of the organization’s output is branded as WBEZ and some as Chicago Public Media. WBEZ broadcasts in HD.

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