National Association of Educational Broadcasters

The National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB) was a US organization of broadcasters with aims to share or coordinate educational programmes. It was founded as the Association of College and University Broadcasting Stations (ACUBS) in 1925[1] as a result of Fourth National Radio Conference, held by the U.S. Department of Commerce.[2]

It was primarily a "program idea exchange" with 25 members that occasionally attempted to rebroadcast programs shared between them.[3] The original constitution for the organization read:

"Believing that radio is in its very nature one of the most important factors in our national and international welfare, we, the representatives of the institutions of higher learning, engaged in educational broadcasting, do associate ourselves together to promote, by mutual cooperation and united effort, the dissemination of knowledge to the end that both the technical and educational feature of broadcasting may be extended to all."[4][2]

ACUBS held its first annual conference July 1 and 2 1930 in Columbus, Ohio joining with the Institution of Education by Radio.[2]

In September 1934, the organization rewrote its constitution, and changed its name from the Association of College University Broadcasting Stations (ACUBS) to the "National Association of Educational Broadcasters."[1]

In 1938, NAEB persuaded the Federal Communications Commission to reserve five radio channels for educational broadcasting.

In 1945 the FCC reserved five of the 40 channels in new high-frequency band for Non-commercial educational stations. There were initially planned to be AM services; however, they eventually manifested as FM ones.

NAEB merged with the Association of Education by Radio-Television in 1956. It was reorganized in 1963 with two new divisions, Educational Television Stations and National Educational Radio. These divisions lasted until 1973, when they were diminished. Their roles were taken over by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Association of Public Radio Stations (APRS) respectively.[5] The APRS became the "Washington lobby and public relations arm of CPB-qualified radio stations."[5] The APRS merged with National Public Radio (NPR) in 1977, which allowed NPR to provide "leadership of a full-fledged membership organization providing member stations with training, program promotion and management, and representing the interests of public radio stations before Congress, the FCC and other regulatory organizations."[6] Before this merger, NPR was "largely a production and distribution center," so the merger was influential in making NPR what it is today.[6]

Until it folded in 1981, NAEB was public broadcasting's primary voice, forum and program distributor.

See also


  1. Seattler, Paul (2004). The evolution of American educational technology. Information Age Publishing Inc. pp. 217ff. ISBN 1-59311-139-8.
  2. Saettler, L. P. (1990). The evolution of American educational technology. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, 1990.
  3. Sterling, C. H., O'Dell, C., & Keith, M. C. (2010). The concise encyclopedia of American radio [electronic resource] / Christopher H. Sterling, editor ; Cary O'Dell, assistant editor ; Michael C. Keith, consulting editor. New York ; London : Routledge, 2010.
  4. Original Constitution of Association of College and University Broadcasting Stations
  5. Engelman, R. (1996). Public radio and television in America a political history. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
  6. Soundscapes: The Evolution and Challenges of National Public Radio. (Fall 2006). Carnegie Results

Further reading

Full documention: National Public Broadcasting Archives, University of Maryland Libraries

  • A History of Public Broadcasting: Witherspoon, Kovitz, Avery, Stavitsky. 2000, Current Publishing Committee, Washington, DC. ISBN 0-9677463-0-2.

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