Washington Business Forward has a reasonably comprehensive article on the current finances of National Public Radio. It gives a nice history of how the network has grown from being entirely publicly funded to relying on listener contributions to members stations and corporate grants, while also giving fair due to the criticisms of the corporate end of that funding and the ensuing conservativeness and risk aversiveness of the network. It’s interesting to learn that the highest paid person at NPR is Morning Edition host Bob Edwards, who makes about $227,000, which the article notes as being relatively low compared to similar jobs in the corporate media. But to those of us accustomed to doing community media for free, it sure seems like a lot. Though I was surprised to find out that NPR Prez Kevin Klose only makes around $160k — which isn’t much more than a successful full professor at an Ivy League or big research university.
I’d be curious to know how these salaries compare to those paid by other big public media networks, like the BBC or Deutsche Welle. However, the difference in finances is clear — outside the US, public radio is almost entirely gov’t funded. Oh, yeah, and there are no pledge drives.