Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Bye bye PBS? Trump could dump public broadcasting

Bye bye PBS? Trump could dump public broadcasting

It is not a broadcaster, but a private corporation created by Congress in 1967 with two primary functions: to serve as a firewall between partisan politics and public broadcasting, and to help fund programming, stations and technology.

If Mulvaney is so concerned about what he can and can't ask coal miners in West Virginia to pay for, the slashing of the Appalachian Regional Commission is interesting, considering that it exists to "Invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia's economy", "Increase the education, knowledge, skills, and health of residents to work and succeed in Appalachia", and "Invest in critical infrastructure-especially broadband; transportation, including the Appalachian Development Highway System; and water/wastewater systems". "This is how a lot of our viewers will receive their news". "Some of these stations may go dark, leaving their broadcast areas uncovered", he added.

President Trump's budget blueprint, released Thursday, would eliminate support for the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio.

The CPB distributed 95 percent of its $455 million in federal funds to 1,500 public TV and radio stations. Inthese grants constituted 13% of an average public TV station's.

In many rural areas, public broadcasting is the only source of free local, national and worldwide news, public affairs and cultural programming.

"Can I really go to those folks, look them in the eye and say, look, I want to take money from you and I want to give it to the Corporation (for) Public Broadcasting?". Republicans have periodically threatened to cut off funding, but so far that has not happened in either Republican or Democratically controlled Congresses.

As hard hit as Ideastream would be by the proposed cut, Kent-based Western Reserve Public Media, which runs WEAO Channel 49, would be facing an even greater challenge.

In southwest Indiana, Nichole Carie has been general manager of WVUT since 2009.

A 2012 report commissioned by CPB said a total loss of federal funding "would severely diminish, if not destroy, public broadcasting service in the United States".

As PBA Chief Executive Officer Wonya Lucas noted, stations in big cities like hers can bear the brunt better than rural ones.

CPB echoed that finding in a statement on Thursday.

Such an action “defies the will of the American people and would devastate the educational and public safety missions of public television they value most, ” says a written statement from Pat Butler, president of Americas Public Television Stations.

Eric Hyyppa knows well the struggle of servicing a large area with few dollars.

NPR and PBS would see the least impact from the cuts.

In 2016, the CPB received $455 million in federal funds - about 0.001 percent of the $3.9 trillion budget.

"It's clearly something that we are anxious about", Davis said.

Montana PBS produces documentaries and state government news that commercial televisions ignores. As a federal government agency, the NEA can not engage in advocacy, either directly or indirectly.

Trump is the first president to propose scrapping funding to the arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities (other items on the chopping list) having always been fought for by both Democrats and Republicans. "But then the big houses will start falling too because we are an interconnected system".

There are people that just assume that cable television or satellite are how most people get content.

The educational programming broadcast by WLJT is the only option for younger Tennesseans whose parents can not pay a cable or satellite bill, Reese said.

Previous Republican presidents also sought with mixed success to curb funding for the cultural world - long a bugbear for conservatives who complain of artists' left-wing tiltings.

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