National Public Radio (NPR) is a privately and publicly funded Non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to 797 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, which established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and also led to the creation of the Public Broadcasting Service. The network was founded in 1970 with 30 employees and 90 public radio stations as charter members.
Underwriting spots vs. commercials
In contrast with commercial radio, NPR does not carry traditional commercials, but has sponsorship in the form of brief statements from major donors, such as Allstate, Merck, and Archer Daniels Midland. These statements are called "underwriting spots", not commercials, and unlike commercials are governed by FCC restrictions; they cannot advocate a product or contain any "call to action". In 2005, corporate sponsorship made up 23% of the NPR budget. NPR is not as dependent on revenue from underwriting spots as commercial stations are on revenue from advertising.