Broadcasting Board of Governors is asking for $721.26 million for its
fiscal 2015 budget, which would be a slight reduction from its enacted
budget of $733.48 million in 2014. The budget includes what BBG
describes as “significant reductions in staff positions that are
tied to content production, as well as costs involving less-effective
The BBG is an independent federal entity responsible for U.S.
nonmilitary international broadcasting programs like the Voice of
America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Radio and TV
Marti, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks — Radio Sawa and
The FY 2015 request provides $4.8 million in broadcasting capital
improvements funding to maintain the BBG’s transmission network,
including the security requirements of facilities, maintenance, repairs
and improvements to existing systems.
Overall, the BBG’s budget request includes what the broadcaster
considers to be substantial reductions and also investments that
rebalance the agency’s resources away from legacy markets in Europe and
toward current foreign policy priorities such as Africa, Asia and the
Middle East. The BBG is rejiggering its platform resources as well,
continuing to move funding from legacy platforms such as shortwave and
medium-wave in order to devote more money to platforms such as FM,
television, streaming and social media in markets where the audience
prefers the latter.
Overall, the BBG says it is tackling inefficiencies in its operations
and focusing more on core activities. To that end, the BBG intends to
reduce language service duplication in some markets, increasing
efficiency and boosting impact, by ensuring coordinated complementary
operations and content where two BBG broadcasters co-exist.
To afford some of the proposed investments and its transition to
digital technology, the BBG proposes targeted reductions to
administrative costs and to scale back less effective transmissions. The
BBG plans to release its detailed budget request in late March.