Operating Agreements Reach 1 in 4 Americans

Millions of Americans are served by broadcast signals managed under a public service operating agreement (or PSOA). These arrangements provide public media organizations with operating responsibility for a station that is licensed to another entity such as a city, tribe, university, college, or school district.

PSOAs are a well-established arrangement for many stations across the country, providing benefits for both the license holder and the operator of the signals – and the number of PSOAs is growing. In the past few weeks, KERA has reached agreement with the City of Dallas’ Office of Arts and Culture to operate WRR 101.1 FM, and Friends of WLRN will soon begin operating WLRN FM & TV, licensed to Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Despite their prevalence, no central list of PSOAs exists. To better understand and share the full extent of PSOAs in public media, Public Media Company has been working with Station Resource Group to develop a list of PSOA signals and the communities they serve. So far, we’ve identified nearly 100 signals reaching 92 million people from Florida to Alaska, 28% of the U.S. population.

Zip Codes Served by Public Service Operating Agreements

There are likely many more PSOAs in public media and we want to ensure that we’re sharing accurate information. Please contact us if you have edits to the database of PSOA signals and/or if you’re interested in learning more about PSOAs in general.