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Monday, February 28, 2011

NPR CEO to Argue for Public Funding of Public Broadcasting in National Press Club Address

NPR CEO to Argue for Public Funding of Public Broadcasting in National Press Club Address

Vivian Schiller to Discuss the Future of Public Radio in an Age of Budget Cuts, March 7

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NPR chief executive Vivian Schiller is leading an effort to persuade Congress not to slash funding for public broadcasting. She will make her case at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on March 7.


"The elimination of federal funding would be a significant blow to nearly 900 public radio stations that serve the needs of more than 38 million Americans with free over-the-air programming they can't find anywhere else," Ms. Schiller said. "It would diminish stations' ability to bring high-quality local, national and international news to their communities, as well as local arts, music and cultural programming that other media don't present. Rural and economically distressed communities could lose access to this programming altogether if their stations go dark."

Schiller started her NPR career two years ago - a time when the U.S. economy was plunging. The media organization's corporate underwriting was shriveling and its stock investments tumbling. Schiller was being introduced to the staff just as NPR was laying off workers, eliminating programs, reducing salaries and slashing travel budgets.

But even in those hard times, Schiller pushed for innovation and excellence, especially in the digital world.

Today, NPR has stabilized financially, and is flourishing both on the air and in the mobile and digital space. Under her leadership, NPR has continued to haul in top awards for journalistic excellence.

But her term has not been without controversy. Last fall, conservative groups sharply criticized NPR for its decision to cut ties with correspondent Juan Williams.

Before joining NPR, Schiller served as General Manager of, the largest newspaper website. Previously, Schiller headed up the Discovery Times Channel, and had served as Senior Vice President of CNN Productions.

The March 7 Press Club luncheon will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. Remarks by Schiller will begin at 1:00 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. Advance reservations should be made through (202) 662-7501 or Or luncheon admission is $18 for National Press Club members, $29 for their guests, and $36 for the general public. Tickets must be purchased at time of reservation.

National Press Club Luncheons are webcast live on Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #NPCLunch, or on Facebook at ( and Twitter (@PressClubDC). Submit questions for speakers in advance and during the live event by sending them to @QNPCLunch on Twitter. Or email a question in advance, type SCHILLER in the subject line and send to before 10 a.m. on March 7.

The Press Club is on the 13th floor, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Credentialed press may cover this event.

About the National Press Club the National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists with more than 3,400 members worldwide representing every major news organization. More than 250,000 people visit the Club each year to attend more than 2,000 events. The Club was founded in 1908 and is on the web at

SOURCE National Press Club

National Press Club

CONTACT: Melinda Cooke, +1-202-662-7516

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