The Corporation for Public Broadcasting soon will request $451 million in advance funding for 2015, Tim Isgitt, CPB's government affairs s.v.p., told board members in Washington, D.C. today (Sept. 19). That's up slightly from the $445 million for the system in President Obama's fiscal 2012 budget, which forward-funds FY14. CPB is also asking for $20 million in digital funding for 2013, Isgitt said, for collaborative station infrastructure projects, educational media support for teachers and public safety initiatives.
And Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations advocacy organization, told the board that he's "feeling a little bit better" about those funding prospects on Capitol Hill, compared with the brutal budget battles earlier this year. "We've found more of our public adversaries are starting to come around when they better understand what we do," he told the board. "It's not the rabid opposition we were facing in the early months of the year." Butler, a longtime D.C. insider who began work with APTS in January, said he recently had a chance encounter at the National Archives with Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), a pubcasting foe who has sponsored bills to defund NPR and CPB this year. "I complimented him on being such a gentleman in his substance-based in approach to issues," Butler said, and Lamborn told Butler that he'd like to hear more about public broadcasting's work. "Other historic adversaries are also beginning to acknowledge there's more to our story than they thought," Butler added. The CPB Board meeting continues Tuesday, with leadership elections on the agenda.