Audience Service Criteria (ASC)
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Community Service Grant (CSG) grantees must show significant and measurable listening relative to coverage area population by meeting the Listening Index or must show significant and measurable community financial support relative to coverage area population by meeting the Community Financial Support Index.
Listening Index: The average AQH is the average of the two prior years’ AQHs, as measured by Nielsen Audio in its spring survey period. Alternatively, CPB may agree to accept AQH measurements from any two Arbitron survey periods within the 24 months preceding the filing year, provided that those survey periods are at least six months apart.
Community Financial Support Index: Community Financial Support is the sum of the following lines in Schedule A of the grantee’s Annual Financial Report (AFR).
- Line 8 Foundations and Nonprofit Associations
- Line 9 Business and Industry
- Line 10 Memberships and Subscriptions
- Line 11 Revenue from Friends Groups less any revenue included on line 10
- Line 13 Net Auction Revenue
- Line 14 Net Revenue from Special Fundraising Activities
- Line 19 Gifts and Bequests from Major Donors.
Failure to Meet Audience Service Criteria: CPB requires that all Radio CSG recipients meet the Audience Service Criteria (ASC) or be subject to a restriction of or reduction in their CSG. Grantees failing the ASC will receive a warning and a year of full funding before their CSG is affected (hereinafter referred to as Year 0).
A grantee that fails to meet the ASC after receiving a Year 0 warning will be placed into Year 1 during the next fiscal year and, if it continues to fail to meet the ASC, Year 2. A grantee in Years 1 and 2 will continue to receive its full CSG. However, the grantee will be required to reserve 25% of its unrestricted portion of the CSG to fund special projects designed by the grantee to help it return to compliance with the ASC. Acceptable expenditures of this reserved portion include, but are not limited to: internal or external analyses of station operations; acquisition of audience research; investment in new local or national programming; investment in new staff (provided these staff members are not used to meet the minimum staff requirement necessary for CSG eligibility); investment in increased development efforts; etc. The grantee will be required to report on the nature and scope of these projects to CPB, both at the beginning and end of the fiscal year to which the grant applies.
A grantee that fails annually to meet the ASC after Year 2 enters Years 3 and 4. A grantee in Years 3 and 4 will receive only 50% of its CSG. A grantee that fails to meet the ASC after Year 4 will be removed from the CSG program until the station demonstrates that it is once again able to meet the ASC threshold, at which time it will be required to reapply during the regular application period in the spring (see Section 1.A.).
A grantee that is able to meet the ASC during Years 1 – 4 will have its full CSG restored. However, if the grantee once again fails to meet the ASC during the next four years, it will not move back to Year 0 and receive another full cycle of warnings, restrictions, and reductions. Instead, CPB, at its sole discretion, will return the grantee to Year 1, 2, 3 or 4 status depending on the circumstances of the individual case.