Sep 13, 2011

Stations' D.C. bureau, Capitol News Connection, to close this month

After covering Congress for dozens of public radio stations for more than eight years, the nonprofit operator of Capitol News Connection will wind down operations by the end of the month. The news service faltered late last year, lost subscribing stations and finally lost further support from CPB, which itself suffered a $30 million cut from its digital project funding. "[A]fter a careful review of our finances and cash flow, we have concluded that it would be impossible to replace those funds in time to ensure the continuation of the service," CNC announced today.

The service held down its fees to stations, which rarely exceeded 32 percent of its annual revenue, but that made it dependent on aid from CPB and foundations, said Melinda Wittstock, founder and chief exec — who also served as one of CNC's handful of Capitol Hill reporters.

She said CNC, since 2003, has produced 32,594 spots customized for particular local stations and 7,094 feature and investigative reports for as many as 51 subscribing station licensees.

"We are endeavoring to make good on as many of the outstanding spots and features owed to stations in the next few weeks," Wittstock said.

More in Current, Sept. 19.

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