We are all looking at our budgets. How will 2020 end? And what assumptions should we make for revenue in 2021? To borrow a quote from screenwriter Willian Goldman, “Nobody knows anything.”
We are far from the end of the story about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect our lives, our communities, our economy, or our public media organizations. As we all prepare our worst-case, bad-case, and less-bad-case scenarios, I can’t help but look back at how public media weathered the Great Recession of 2008.
I have no doubt that all of you have done due diligence on how your individual organizations performed from 2008-2010+ for clues on how to imagine things unfolding. For a system-wide perspective, Greater Public analyzed relevant station data from our Benchmarks reports from the recession years, and we’ve gathered insights from several other data-minded colleagues at national organizations.
Public Radio Individual Giving Tells an Optimistic Story
Based on data from a consistent group of 47 public radio stations that participated in Benchmarks from 2008-2011: