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Get the latest, most relevant information about the business of public media. Read breaking industry news and learn best business practices. Find out about upcoming PMBA conferences, toolkits, and roundtables. Discover educational programming from a variety of public media organizations as well as opportunities to enhance the professional capabilities of your staff in areas such as management, finance, accounting, and human resources.

December 12, 2011

Fair Use: What Public Media Makers are Doing Right and How They Can Do Even Better

Fair use, the right to employ copyrighted material in certain situations without licensing it, is in resurgence after two dismal decades of widespread misinterpretation — and nowhere is the right getting more exercise than in public broadcasting. Public broadcasters have been leaders in asserting their rights appropriately, and can use them even more to advance public media in a participatory and digital era.
November 29, 2011

The Rise of Cloud Accounting

As cloud-based solutions for email—and virtually every office system—have become available, accounting software packages like QuickBooks are adapting to this trend and offering cloud-based versions of their solutions.  Typically these are Software as a Service, or SaaS, subscription-based Web applications, which provide a solid subset of the standalone product functionality.  Assuming there is a reliable and always-on Internet connection, and that the accounts are kept in good standing, these online products offer key benefits versus buying and maintaining desktop versions of applications.
November 28, 2011

Public Media's Quest for Integrity

Recent controversy has hurt public broadcasting in the public eye and in the purse. Politicians have threatened to end state funding; citizens have stopped their donations.  Another reason for the controversy is decreasing levels of state funding. This means that NPR, PBS, and others have to seek funding from, and to form partnerships with, a diverse range of groups in civic society. Many of these groups have political agendas and social causes to advance. In a partisan public sphere, what happens to public broadcasting's claim to impartiality when increasing amounts of its journalism is funded by such groups?  New editorial guidelines to maintain the public's trust appear to be essential.
November 21, 2011

Fox News Viewers Uninformed, NPR Listeners Not, Poll Suggests

A poll by Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey showed that of all the news channels out there, Fox News viewers are the least informed.  Readers of The New York Times, USA Today and listeners to National Public Radio were better informed about international events than other media outlets.
November 21, 2011

Public Broadcasting Provides Great Value at Modest Cost

A compelling Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post from Patrick Butler, CEO of the Association of Public Television Stations, who responds to Robert Samuelson’s assertion that "federal support for public broadcasting as among 'unaffordable frills.'"
November 15, 2011

Why People Micromanage

Many managers complain that they work for micromanagers. But strangely, very few admit to being micromanagers.  Somehow this burdensome, costly culture of micromanagement happened unintentionally.  So if nobody's waking up in the morning intending to be a micromanager, then why do people still feel micromanaged.
October 21, 2011

FSAs: Less Flexible in 2012

As workers pick their health-care benefits over the next few weeks, experts say one option is looking less popular this year: flexible-savings accounts.  A provision in the health-care overhaul that went into effect this year says that people who want to use their flexible-spending accounts for over-the-counter medicines need to get a prescription first. But experts say the hassle of visiting a doctor before heading to the pharmacy has proven too much for many Americans.

The Future of Membership and How It Impacts Your Station’s Business Practices

January 8, 2015Mark Fuerst, Director of the Public Media Futures Forum, discusses the single largest revenue stream in public media: membership... annual support, pledge drives, direct mail renewals, telemarketing, sustainer plans, and major individual gifts.  All of that activity, across radio and TV, brought in $900 million in 2013. That total is growing, but it’s also highly vulnerable to erosion.  As membership models change and evolve, CFOs will have to anticipate changes in budgeting, cashflow, staffing, and technology requirements. CEOs may spend more time out in the community building relationships with sponsors. During this webinar, Mark will discuss considerations for growth and change from operational and financial perspectives.PMBA members can access the recording and presentation here (login required). Webinar participants can contact PMBA at to receive access.