Friday, March 02, 2007


NPR's $300,000-Plus Hosts, According to IRS Return

The last time I looked at the salaries of NPR hosts and executives, as listed on the radio news outlet's IRS 990 forms, was back in November 2004.
Sure, the compensation packages and salaries were very generous, and I'm not the least bit surprised the NPR folks have increased their pay.
Although seeing rather enormous salaries and packages in the nonprofit news radio world gives me reason to consider how high the compensation must be at for-profit private radio news stations.
Here are the figures from the latest IRS 990 form for National Public Radio, FY 2005, just for the top five on-air hosts:
Renee Montagne
Compensation: $308,374
Contributions to benefit plan: $30,640

Steve Inskeep
Compensation: $301,856
Contributions to benefit plan: $35,572

Robert Siegel
Compensation: $288,795
Contribution to benefit plan: $24,480

Scott Simon
Compensation: $266,821
Contribution to benefit plan: $33,572

Alexander Chadwick
Compensation: $235,173
Contribution to benefit plan: $29,564
Comparable information for the executives of NPR is also presented in the IRS return and is similarly high, which you can read by clicking here.

16 comments:

Harry said...

Our tax dollars at work.

I'm so proud.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, conservative writers get upset when they see big salaries for those doing work that has public funding but think all is just fine in an economy that awards millions in salaries for private companies that are failing and which have stocks bought and sold by ordinary citizens.

AJ Lynch said...

I have wondered about this too. Thanks for doing the legwork and posting to your blog.

It would be interesting to count up the number of "original" (not re-runs) hours of programming NPR produces per week. Then take that number and calculate the cost per hour of original programming.

I suspect it's astronomical.

J said...

Please tell me again,
Why am I paying for NPR with my tax dollars?

LonewackoDotCom said...

AlFranken made more in two months than those listed above make in a year. And, it's not like there was a bidding war for his radio skills.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
For some reason, conservative writers get upset when they see big salaries for those doing work that has public funding but think all is just fine in an economy that awards millions in salaries for private companies that are failing and which have stocks bought and sold by ordinary citizens."

As a shareholder of a private company I can opt to sell my shares and invest in another company. Let me know how I can sell my shares of NPR and I will.

John said...

That's a heckuva lot of money, but I'm not so sure it's out of line; these are people with a *huge*, nation-wide audience.

NPR news often seems a bit slanted to me, but they do a lot of good work, too.

Robert said...

This demonstrates that at NPR men are paid less than women for the same amount of work. Don't expect that to be reported.

Anonymous said...

J and all Othres -- NPR was originally formed by the public broadcasting act, but is pretty much entirely supported by private donations and station's membership fees. NONE of anybody's tax dollars go towards its operation. Check out http://www.npr.org/about/nprworks.html and see for yourself.

Prospector said...

Curious about top level executive pay within NPR and its parent company the Corp. for Public Broadcasting. Although subsidized by tax dollars, these aren't civil servants.

REgarding NPR's sister company: How much loot does Bill Moyers make off with? He owns all the rights to his show "NOW".

Anonymous said...

I work for a for-profit station and I make 1/10 what my colleagues at NPR make. I should probably see if I can get a job over there -- i'll probably make more.

Anonymous said...

NPR is predominately supported by donors, not the government. Considering that the individual stations have to pay for the national programs, to the tune of several 100 thousand dollars a year. Hence the almost quaterly pledge drives. It's not your local affiliates fault, blame the mainstream media for creating celebrities out of newspeople. NPR is just being competitive, you want good talent you pay for good talent. Talk to your local NPR affiliate and you'll see they make a mere fraction of what Inskeep or Seigel make. Also, you have to account for the "charitable" donations from some of the conglomorates. NPR is only as unbiased as they'll afford to be, but still less bias than mainstream media. As a consumer, you can't put all of your trust in the news media, you have to gather all the information you can and process it from there.

Christopher Taylor said...

but is pretty much entirely supported by private donations and station's membership fees

So... what you're saying then is that there's no reason for the government to be supporting public broadcasting at all then? Thanks, that's what conservatives have been arguing for decades. Kill the funding, clearly they don't need it...

right?

Anonymous said...

those who think these salaries aren't high are ignoring that this is supposed to be public radio. does anyone else in gov't make this much money? few, if any.

Anonymous said...

Those salaries are a BARGAIN when you consider the high quality of reporting and the salaries of for-profit TV people.

Anonymous said...

"The Corporation for Public Broadcasting allocated $92 million to public radio in FY 1997, according to the document here:"

http://www.cpb.org/aboutcpb/leadership/board/resolutions/060718_cpb_fy07operatingbudget.pdf

So much for NONE of my tax dollars going towards these salaries. Wake up people, it's your money, demand control.