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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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« Falling Behind | Main | The Facebook Moment »


Carl Gardner

I read your post with comments from Art Timko about taxpayer funding of “non-commercial” broadcasting. Art seems like a thoughtful guy, but he’s framing this falsely, and way too narrowly, when he views it as an ideological battle.

There are plenty of commercial media outlets doing a valiant job of trying to cover the news and serve their communities, while battling a bad economy along with historic disruption of the business model for ad-supported local media. Has Art looked at the books of a local newspaper lately? Or those of many local radio or TV stations? No taxpayer subsidies to be found there.

For years, we’ve seen public radio stations promote themselves via advertising that directly slams commercial radio and woos its listeners. We’ve seen them hire away commercial radio salespeople to go out and find advertising (er, sorry…they call that “underwriting”) dollars on the street. Many have done a great job of amassing large audiences and healthy revenue streams. Fair enough – it’s called competition, and that’s the way America works.

But why should one competitor be propped up by the government, while the rest fend for themselves? That’s the disconnect.


Thanks for the comments, Carl. It will be an interesting session of Congress to be sure. Appreciate you taking the time.

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