America's Public Television Stations presented a Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), a key ally in the battle to preserve federal funding for public broadcasting.
Sen. Reid has been an advocate for increasing CPB aid and for preserving Ready to Learn, the federal program that provides funding for some PBS Kid shows. This year, Sen. Reid been an outspoken opponent of House Republicans' efforts to defund CPB and NPR.
After the House approved H.R. 1076 last month, Sen. Reid declared that the bill was "unlikely" to gain any traction among Senate lawmakers.
"Harry Reid steps in the ring every year on our behalf to 'float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee,'" said Tom Axtell, g.m. of Vegas PBS. APTS announced the award as it capped its annual Capitol Hill Day confab of legislative strategy sessions and Hill visits on April 5.
APTS reserves its Champion award for members of Congress and other individuals "who have had a tremendous impact on the ability of public television stations to meet the most critical needs of the communities they serve," according to its announcement. It named Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) as pubcasting champions last week.