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CPB Requires Stations Meet Criteria To Receive Grants

 The Corporation For Public Broadcasting has voted unanimously to require that the majority of programming broadcast by multicasting noncommercial TV stations in the digital world meet CPB's programming criteria if they want to get Community Service Grants.

 The money can be used for a host of purposes including programming production, DTV upgrades, fund-raising, management and more. The criteria is that the programming "must be devoted to quality programming that serves demonstrated community needs of an educational, informational and cultural nature within its primary signal area. Such programming is intended for a general audience."

 Not qualifying is programming that primarily furthers a political or religious philosophy and, interestingly, one primarily for in-school use.

 The CPB board voted to make that clarification this week. It also said that no revenue from programming and related services that don't meet the CPB criteria will be included in the formula for calculating CPB grant eligibility.

 Why? "The Board’s action seeks to address the digital technology-fueled expansion of public television’s and public radio’s capacity to deliver multiple streams of programming and other information in addition to their regular CPB-qualified schedules," CPB said in a statement Friday, "as well as concerns that some of the additional use may not satisfy the eligibility criteria for programming that CPB applied in a single-channel world."