Jun 28, 2011

Funding cuts prompt Alabama PubTV to suspend weekly coverage of state politics

Alabama Public Television is shuttering its state capital bureau and suspending production of its political roundtable, Capitol Journal. The shutdown, part of a network-wide downsizing that includes lay-offs for 19 staff, responds to the latest round of state funding losses for APT.

With policymakers' decision this year to cut APT's subsidies by $1.3 million, APT has lost 50 percent of its state support since 2008, Executive Director Allan Pizzato tells the Montgomery Advertiser. He's also scaling back operations at APT's Huntsville station and ending production of the music series, We Have Signal.

APT is the third public TV station to curtail its political coverage in response to funding cuts imposed by state policymakers: New Hampshire Public Television is putting New Hampshire Outlook on hiatus and Miami's WLRN is dropping legislative coverage from the Florida Public Radio Network.

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