CPB Bans Trading Names to Political Parties: Stations Could Face Loss of Funding

Article excerpt

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting yesterday banned the practice of allowing its public television and radio stations to swap members' names with political parties.

CPB has been pelted by criticism for allowing its 1,047 public TV and radio stations to trade the names.

But under the new guidelines, stations that receive federal funding may "not sell, rent, lease, loan, trade, give, donate, transfer or exchange membership or donor names to, with or from any candidate for public office, committees or organizations supporting a candidate, political parties or organizations that solicit funds for use in political campaigns for any purpose whatsoever."

CPB President Robert Coonrod said in a statement: "The practice of list swapping with political campaigns and committees is more than a political controversy. It's about our bond with our viewers and listeners. Our goal is to restore the public's trust in the work public broadcasting does every day."

Mr. Coonrod issued the edict one day after The Washington Times reported that some public TV stations rented donor lists from the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign, and 13 days after Congress threatened to cut public broadcasting's funding after learning about other list-swapping practices. …