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WTOPer Questions NPR’s New Building

Completion of new HQ comes during sequestration, says Farley

Some observers are criticizing NPR’s new $200 million Washington headquarters.

We reported the organization has given tours of the new HQ which generated some criticism. Read the comments below this Media Bistro piece. Now WTOP(FM) vice president of news and programming Jim Farley has penned a letter to the Washington Post about it, raising the funding issue.

The Hubbard executive questions whether a “well-heeled” organization still needs taxpayer money “at a time when newspapers and other news organizations are practicing austerity, and all federal agencies are pinching pennies because of sequestration.”

Less than 2% of NPR’s operating budget comes from federal taxes, according to The Washington Post. Its member stations receive some of their funding through grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

NPR has said no federal funds went towards the new facility and that construction was funded through a combination of proceeds from the sale of the old building, tax-exempt bonds and private gifts and donations.

Farley represents a competitor to NPR member station WAMU(FM). The stations have been trading places as number one in the Washington ratings market lately.