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Monday, February 4, 2013

Are Portland Public Schools buying radio ad time?

A concerned reader writes:

I listen occasionally to NPR during the day. A couple of times recently I’ve heard the hosts giving a shout-out to their sponsors, and they’re thanking Portland Public Schools for their support. What is up with that?

I have no idea how to go about investigating how much money is being shuffled from PPS to NPR, but in my mind there shouldn’t be ANY money sent over. Do you have a way to find out about this?

Sure -- we just ask our readers.

Comments (11)

I've heard the PPS ads on OPB during All Things Considered. They cost about $8,000 a quarter.

Just sent them a public information request. Will see how long they twiddle their thumbs on this one..

Looks like it consists of contributions from employees and is not matched.


Then OPB should announce the sponsorship as coming from the employees, otherwise it's false & misleading.

They probably should, Mojo. I don't listen to NPR occasionally; I listen to it constantly and I have long wished they would switch to some more straightforward advertising announcements rather than the gilded "contributions from" often followed by embellishments clearly of the contributer's making.

I agree that if they are announcing contributions from Portland Public Schools, it should instead be clearly worded as voluntary association of employees of Portland Public Schools, etc.

The causative problem is the glass is half empty. Fill it up all the way, and then there is no need for securitydetective work watching who has got volume-displacement fingers in the half-full to make it look full-up.
That is to say have no 'friends' or 'sponsors' advertising and no 'pledges' drives for NPR / PBS (CPB) = Pay it all with federal tax revenue for public 'arts' by taking the money away from the PentupFearGone, ASAP (Arms Spending Alternatives Projects), cover PBS 100% and more and still get yourself a BIG tax rebate taking money away from wasted PentupFearGone spending.

Have a Post Office. Have rejuvenated infrastructure and housing. Have community clinics. Have jobs. Instead of breadwinners going in caskets. By redirecting the tax level already away from the Dept of Death PentupFearGone ... pay for everything else and still get money back.
Oh, excuse me, like war is improving your life?

As for public Schools money sponsoring Public Broadcasting, I have little objection to that and LARGE objection to public money (DoD) spent sponsoring and propping up private broadcasts programming, like when you hear a PSA ('public service announcement' which is tax-dollars-produced and tax-dollars-distributed as sponsorship) advertising 'National Guard' or 'Marines' and many other PSA 'public-paid announcements' paying the freight of LarsLarson or Limbaugh airtime.

Why does the Army need to advertise anyway? (n.b. the 2012 Budget appropriated $1billion to each of 'The Services' for advertising, uh, er, 'promotion.' That's right, each angle of the Pentagon sorcery gets a BillionBucko's to sponsor TVshows and like that there.) I mean, the Army has a monopoly. Anybody who needs advertising to tell them where to go to get to join the Army sounds unlikely to bring with them the mental competence to get in.


Having an all volunteer armed services sort of leads to outreach being necessary. Same is done for the Peace Corps, Americorps, and other agencies seeking volunteers.

Within certain age groups, one MUST attend elementary thru high school, or get home schooled.

Public schools are always complaining about insufficient funding, so it seems quite strange that they would spare a few nickels for public broadcasting.

In 2009 you published the salaries of the top 8 execs at OPB making six figures, Jack, and asked the question: "How many days of pledge drive is that?"

One of several reasons that, when one of the neverending pledge drives for this purported non-profit rolls around, I don't feel even the slightest temptation to throw money at them.

By the way, any plans to begin posting these salary lists again?

can this blog assume that Pensky is a Neo-Pacifist?

I think these government workers forget who they are and who they work for. Instead of administrators, they see themselves as executives. The PR budget isn't just to tell parents that the kiddies need shots before going to school, it is for "branding" and marketing the "business". As much as I'd like to see government agencies be more businesslike, in my mind, that means cutting expenses and turning out a great product, it differs from the real thing because the goal is not to make a profit or larger salary.

Nolo, something in your post struck me as unintentionally humorous. Yeah, if they really "branded" the kids from each school, it would be easier to keep track of them.

And one of my favorite odious MBA phrases also applies: "Maximizing the asset" (human beings who get in the way be damned).

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