Jan 14, 2011

Who loses if Congress defunds NPR or CPB?

Two takes on the congressional push to end federal aid to public broadcasting:

Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam explores to what extent hometown stations WBUR-FM and WGBH-TV/FM depend on their CPB grants. Not so much, he discovers, except for TV production grants that WGBH relies on to create shows such as Between the Lions: it's the little stations serving rural communities whose futures hang in the balance. "Public broadcasters — and especially prosperous stations like Boston’s WGBH and WBUR — might be better off without the government’s money."

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) tells the Washington Examiner that he's waited a long time for his legislation to defund NPR and CPB to gain political traction. "Before the Juan Williams issue came up, it really wasn't on a lot of people's radar screens," he says. A "well-connected House GOP aide" says that Lamborn's bill is "not a top priority, like repealing Obamacare," but its prospects for House passage are "pretty good."

In a statement issued this week, NPR blasted Lamborn's bills as "an intrusion into the programming decision-making of America’s public radio stations."

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