Feb 4, 2008

White House cuts CPB funding for 2009 and beyond

President Bush's proposed federal budget for fiscal 2009 recommends deep cuts for public broadcasting: the $400 million that was previously approved for CPB next fiscal year would be cut in half and the White House would rescind $220 million from a 2010 advance appropriation of $400 million. In addition, the White House provides no advance appropriation for CPB in 2011 and no additional monies in 2009 for digital conversion costs or upgrades to the Public Radio Satellite System. The cuts represent a 56 percent reduction of CPB funding from 2008 levels, according to CPB. In a statement issued this morning, CPB President Patricia Harrison described the proposed cuts as "draconian." With such politically unpopular proposals as a freeze on all domestic programs and $178 billion cuts to Medicare, the White House will have a hard time exerting its will with Congress in the upcoming budget process, according to Politico.

Chris Anderson's "dark thoughts" about listening to and supporting public radio

Switching to an iPhone has changed the way Wired editor Chris Anderson listens to public radio, he writes on a blog tied to his influential book, The Long Tail. By capturing his favorite programs as podcasts, Anderson avoids pubradio pledge drives but voluntarily answers Ira Glass's appeal for contributions toward the bandwidth bill of This American Life. "I just don't care that much about KQED, and now that I've got another way to get the shows I like, I don't really feel much of a connection to it," Anderson writes. "Now that I get my radio via podcast, I don't have to take the bad shows with the good. I've got an a la carte menu, and I assemble my own schedule with what I want and when I want it. My feelings about radio stations are mixed, but my feelings about individual shows are crystal clear." Pubcasters Todd Mundt and Dennis Haarsager reacted to Anderson's conclusions on their own blogs, as did Robert Paterson, an organizational consultant advising stations on their new media strategies.