Feb 19, 2011

Public broadcasting national orgs say they'll continue to work to restore CPB funding

Reactions are coming in to the House vote to pass the Continuing Resolution that zeroes out $460 million in advance funding for CPB.

From Pat Harrison, president of CPB:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) provides funding for community-based public television and radio stations and program producers who create unique and trusted content that serves the educational and informational needs of this country. We would like to express our appreciation to the many Members of the House of Representatives who recognize the value of this service to the nation and, especially, to the people in their home districts. Specifically, we would like to thank Representatives Blumenauer, Markey, Lowey and others who are leading the fight to retain federal funding for CPB. We will continue to work with these Representatives and with members of the Senate to educate them about the importance of the federal investment in public media.

From PBS:

The elimination of funding for public broadcasting approved by the House of Representatives threatens millions of citizens throughout America with the loss of services that they rely on, especially parents and children. PBS' nearly 360 member stations will be severely impacted. Smaller and rural stations, those that operate in areas with the most limited media choices, would feel the most dramatic effects.

“PBS and independently owned and operated public television stations are America’s largest classroom, available to all of America’s children – including those who can’t attend preschool,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “PBS' educational programming, as well as our training resources and tools for teachers prepare children for success in school and opens up the world to them in an age-appropriate way and builds critical skills in young students. Costing about one dollar per person per year, public broadcasting is an effective, efficient use of leveraged tax dollars – a public-private partnership that delivers far-reaching services that Americans trust and value.”

“We will continue to work closely with our member stations, other national public broadcasting organizations and the millions of Americans who support public television to make our case to Congress,” Ms. Kerger concluded.

From the Public Media Association, the newly formed intiative from NPR and the Association of Public Television Stations:

Today, the Public Media Association (PMA) expressed deep disappointment with the House vote to eliminate funding for local public television and radio stations. The House vote was 235-189.

“If this House-passed bill stands, it would endanger hundreds of public radio and television stations that serve as educational, informational and cultural lifelines for millions of people nationwide, and it would be a death sentence for stations serving rural and small-town America,” said PMA president Patrick Butler.

“Public broadcasting serves people everywhere, including hundreds of communities where such service would never be profitable,” Butler continued. “To dismantle a public broadcasting system that 170 million Americans regularly rely on for lifelong learning, in-depth news and public affairs programming, and world-class culture – all for the sake of reducing one year’s federal budget deficit by less than three thousandths of one percent – is to recklessly defy the will of the American people, who routinely rank public broadcasting just behind national defense as the best use of taxpayer dollars.

“We urge the Senate to reject this House action, and we hope the final decision on this matter will recognize the enduring value of public broadcasting as America’s largest classroom, its greatest stage, and its most trusted and comprehensive source of information for the citizens of the world’s greatest democracy,” Butler concluded.

House passes Continuing Resolution, zeroing out $460 million in CPB funding

At 4:30 a.m. today (Feb. 19) the House approved a huge package of spending cuts, slashing more than $60 billion that included a $460 advance appropriation for CPB. The vote: 235 to 189, along party lines. John Boehner (R-Ohio) did not vote, as is tradition for Speaker of the House. Three Republicans opposed the Continuing Resolution. Cuts total some $60 billion in spending from last year's levels in many domestic programs. The CR now goes to the Senate, where and Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), called the cuts "draconian." Amendment 436 from Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), co-chair of the bipartisan Public Broadcasting Caucus, would have salvaged CPB's funding but was gaveled down just before midnight Feb. 16 on a procedural decision.

NBR hires Washington lobbyist

Nightly Business Report, acquired last year by businessman Mykalai Kontilai, has hired a lobbyist. Alan Rubin of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney has registered with Congress to advocate for a Department of Defense education intitative. Kontilai told Current last year that the project entails supplying members of the military with financial educational information. Kontilai's acquisition of the show in 2010 was big news in the pubcasting system, as reported by both Current and, subsequently, the New York Times.