18. National Security Study Memorandum 245, Washington, August 3, 1976.1 2



August 3, 1976

National Security Study Memorandum 245


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • The Director, United States Information Agency
  • The Director, Board for International Broadcasting


  • President’s Report to Congress Concerning International Broadcast Facilities

The Fiscal Year 1977 Foreign Relations Authorization Act requires that the President submit to Congress by January 31, 1977 a report on steps that might be taken to improve the effectiveness of USG funded international broadcasting facilities, encompassing both greater cooperation among U. S. broadcasters and the feasibility of sharing facilities with foreign countries. In order to comply with the requirements of the Act, a number of important issues must be addressed, including the advisability of facility-sharing by Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty (RL). The President has therefore directed that a study be made of measures that might be taken to improve the effectiveness of U. S. funded international broadcasting and the impact such measures would have on current and future USG funded information exchange programs. This study should consider, but not necessarily be limited to:

  • — The respective missions of VOA and RFE with regard to Eastern Europe and VOA and RL with regard to the USSR. The missions should be clearly defined in terms of both political objectives and basic program content.
  • — The advisability of VOA and RFE/RL sharing each other’s facilities, including the possible impact of such sharing on other U. S. international information and exchange programs.
  • — A comparison of broadcast range (distance), quality (clarity of signal), and audience size of (1) VOA and RITE in Eastern Europe, and (2) VOA and RL in USSR as a basis for determining ways in which to reduce competition and duplication.
  • — A review of language priorities (target audiences) for U. S. international broadcasting based on current and anticipated program orientation by both VOA and RFE/RL.
  • — Measures to manage and coordinate more efficiently current and planned international broadcasting transmission facilities.
  • — The feasibility of negotiating with other nations the mutual use of their and U.S. facilities. In this regard, a survey should be made of relevant Allied broadcast operations and facilities, especially the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany and France, in order to explore possible facility-sharing arrangements with U.S. broadcasters.
  • — The advisability and feasibility of extending broadcasting operations to additional countries where access to information is restricted by the policies of the governments of such countries.

This study should be prepared by the Under Secretaries Committee and should include policy options and recommendations as appropriate. The study should include as an annex the report by the President required by the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1977. The study should be submitted by October 1, 1976, for consideration by the President.


Brent Scowcroft

cc: The Director of Central Intelligence

The Chairman, Under Secretaries Committee

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 46, NSSM 245, President’s Report to Congress Concerning International Broadcast Facilities (1). Confidential. Copies were sent to the Director of Central Intelligence and the Chair of the Under Secretaries Committee. Attached but not published is a distribution list.
  2. Scowcroft tasked the Departments of State, Defense, the OMB, the USIA, and the BIB to prepare a study on how to improve the effectiveness of U.S.-funded international broadcasting facilities.