Inventory of the California Public Broadcasting Commission Records

Processed by Sven Kennedy
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
Email: ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov
URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
© 2007
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the California Public Broadcasting Commission Records

Collection number: R385

California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California
Processed by:
Sven Kennedy
Date Completed:
April 2007
Encoded by:
Debbie Bahn
© 2007 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: California Public Broadcasting Commission Records
Dates: 1975-1984
Collection number: R385
Creator: California Public Broadcasting Commission
Collection Size: 4 cubic feet of textual records, 165 audiocassette tapes, and 95 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tapes
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: The California Public Broadcasting Commission was formed as a result of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1975. The records consist of 4 cubic feet of textual records, 165 audiocassette tapes, and 95 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tapes. The files consist primarily of meeting agendas and minutes, reports, roll calls, memoranda, correspondence, proposals, and grant applications. Additionally, publications, speeches, Commission newsletters, testimony, opinions, notes, and newspaper articles can be found throughout the collection.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Administrative Information

Access

While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Public Broadcasting Commission Records, R385.[Series Number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

Acquisition and Custodial History

The California State Archives acquired the Public Broadcasting Commission Records according to state law.

Administrative History

The California Public Broadcasting Commission was formed as a result of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1975 (Chapter 1227 of Statutes 1975). An independent agency of State government, the Public Broadcasting Commission began operating on March 18, 1975, with the purpose to encourage the growth and development of public broadcasting services to the people of California. Terry Goggin, the author of the Public Broadcasting Act, maintained that creating a Public Broadcasting Commission would better enable public broadcasters to provide the community with more effective educational programming. At its inception the Public Broadcasting Commission consisted of seven members. However, by April 1976 the commission had grown to eleven members as was outlined in the Public Broadcasting Act. The Governor appointed five of the commission's eleven members, two members were appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, and two members were appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. The remaining two members were allocated to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Director of the Postsecondary Education Commission.
Prior to the inception of the Public Broadcasting Commission, the Department of General Services maintained an ad-hoc committee charged with coordinating educational television statewide. Moreover, the Department of General Services was responsible for preparing a plan to meet California's educational needs through television and for processing educational television station's federal grant applications. In addition, the Department of General Services was also in charge of distributing relevant information and coordinating activities related to educational television. These functions were no longer funded by 1970, when the State Educational TV Advisory Committee and the position of Television Coordinator were eliminated.
The Public Broadcasting Act established several mandates. One mandate required the development of a statewide policy to advance the growth of public radio and television services to the people of California. Other duties charged upon the commission included: creating grants for noncommercial radio and television stations and allied institutions; evaluating legislation; research, development, and demonstration projects; application for federal and private funds; planning and development of terrestrial and satellite interconnection services; creating grants for program acquisition and production; and disseminating information to the public. Furthermore, the Public Broadcasting Commission was required to submit an annual report to the Governor and the State Legislature covering the activities of the commission, its financial condition, commission recommendations, and the accomplishments of the commission regarding its official charters.
Along with forming the Public Broadcasting Commission, the Public Broadcasting Act authorized the reestablishment of a Radio and TV Advisory Committee. These committees were given the power to award public broadcasting stations with grants for facility improvements and to create an interconnected statewide system for the distribution of programming. Additionally, grants could be distributed for the purpose of development, production, and acquisition of programming. The Public Broadcasting Commission was required to work closely with the Radio, Television, and Instructional Advisory Committees in the commission's efforts to maximize the use of existing noncommercial broadcasting facilities.
In the 1983-1984 Governor's Budget, funding for the Public Broadcasting Commission was reduced to an amount compulsory for the phasing out of operations by the end of 1984. No funds were allocated for 1984-1985, thus eliminating the California Public Broadcasting Commission. Language included in the Governor's Budget Trailer Bill formally called for the abolishment of the commission. As the commission ceased operations, public radio and television stations were encouraged to seek funding from viewers, foundations, and other private sources.

Scope and Content

The records of the Public Broadcasting Commission consists of 4 cubic feet of textual records, 165 audiocassette tapes, and 95 reel to reel tapes of records covering the period 1975 through 1984. The files consist primarily of meeting agendas and minutes, reports, roll calls, memoranda, correspondence, proposals, and grant applications. Additionally, publications, speeches, Commission newsletters, testimony, opinions, notes, and newspaper articles can be found throughout the collection as well.
The scope of the textual records is relatively succinct insofar as they reflect the specific charters of the Public Broadcasting Commission during its existence. For example, meeting files show the daily operations of the commission, what projects it undertook, and how specific actions were funded. Corresponding audiocassette recordings of commission meetings exist for many of the meeting files and provide a valuable record of the Commission's contributions and oversight of public broadcasting in California.
The committee file record series illustrates specific tasks undertaken by the Commission. Committee files also demonstrates how the work of each individual committee interconnected with the objectives of the Public Broadcasting Commission as a whole. The Grants Committee files in particular, offer many useful insights to how public funds were dispersed for public broadcasting projects, a principal objective of the commission. Commission subject files are diverse in topics represented, encompassing the work and challenges that faced the Public Broadcasting Commission. In particular, the annual reports state the commission's progress in achieving its stated goals. Commissioner's packets were compiled weekly and sent to members of the Public Broadcasting Commission. This series provides a detailed account of many of the issues the commission dealt with during the period from 1979 to 1980. These files may be exceptionally useful for understanding the commission's intent in their initiatives and decision-making. Sacramento Update tapes document the sort of information that was distributed as a result of Public Broadcasting Commission grant distribution.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
California Public Broadcasting Commission
Broadcasting California
Educational television broadcasting

Oral Histories

Wilson C. Riles, "'No Adversary Situations': Public School Education in California and Wilson C. Riles, Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1970-1982," an oral history conducted 1981-1982 by Sarah Sharp, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, 1984.

Series Descriptions

R385.1, Box 1, folder 1-Box 2, folder 16

Series 1 Meeting Files 1976-1983

Physical Description: 62 file folders, 162 audiocassette tapes

Access

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

Meeting files primarily contain meeting agendas and minutes. However, meeting files may additionally contain reports, proposed budgets, and other materials relevant to the work of the commission. Meeting agendas outline the date and location of the commission meeting and a general description of the topics to be discussed in the meeting. Minutes reflect the policy and administrative work of the commission in relation to their official charters. Meeting minutes further elaborate on the specific topics outlined in the meeting agenda. Minutes also show the commission's oversight of specific projects undertaken by the commission. The minutes generally contain a list of the commission members present at the meeting, reports from the chair and executive director of the commission, and a detailed summary of the specific agenda items discussed during the commission meeting. For many meetings there exists an audiocassette recording. A separation sheet has been placed in the textual file folders where this is the case.
R385.2, Box 2, folder 17-Box 3, folder 29

Series 2 Committee Files 1975-1984

Physical Description: 49 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by name of committee.

Scope and Content Note

Committee files generally contain correspondence, memoranda, published articles, reports, and proposals. The topics covered in committee files relate to the agendas of that specific committee, or that of the Public Broadcasting Commission itself. Various committees dealt with such topics as: grant distribution; instructional broadcasting; policies; radio and television. The specific charter of each individual committee demonstrates their relationship to work of the Public Broadcasting Commission.
R385.3, Box 3, folder 30-Box 4, folder 31

Series 3 Subject Files 1975-1984

Physical Description: 34 file folders and 3 audiocassette tapes

Access

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject headings.

Scope and Content Note

Subject files relate to the specific actions of the Public Broadcasting Commission. This series includes the annual reports submitted to the Governor and the State Legislature that highlights the commission's performance and conduct. Subject files also contain files related to community access to public broadcasting, local programming, and commission press releases.
R385.4, Box 4, folders 32-35

Series 4 Commissioners' Packets 1979-1980

Physical Description: 4 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

The commissioners' packets contain documents pertinent to the weekly actions and communications of the commissioner. These files primarily contain correspondence, memoranda, reports, and newspaper articles relating to the policies of the Public Broadcasting Commission.
R385.5, Box 4 folder 36

Series 5 Sacramento Update Tapes 1980-1983

Physical Description: 1 file folder, 95 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tapes

Access

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies. See Reference Archivist for access to reel-to-reel tapes.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by broadcast date.

Scope and Content Note

The Public Broadcasting Commission compiled weekly news broadcast tapes for dissemination on National Public Radio. They are preserved on 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tape and reflect a variety of issues pertaining to California as a whole with an emphasis on State Government. National Public Radio identification numbers are labeled on each tape.
See appendix A in the master finding aid at the California State Archives for a list of tape dates and subjects.