APTS Lauds Level Funding in President's Budget

The Association of Public Television Stations is pleased with the President's just-released budget, which recommends level funding of $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for 2018 (CPB is forward funded to try to keep politics out of the decisionmaking).

That includes $40 million for updates to the interconnection system that allows distribution of national programming to stations and its emergency alert capabilities. "The Administration has been a faithful supporter of public television’s mission of education, public safety and civic leadership, and we very much appreciate this steadfast support," said Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations.

He said the $40 million, a first installment on its interconnection revamp, will help update the "backbone of both our education and public safety missions, enabling the efficient distribution of history, science, public affairs and cultural programming to everyone, everywhere, every day, for free."

The budget also includes a separate $26 million allocation for Ready to Learn, which Butler called a "unique national-local partnership with a proven record of helping to close the educational achievement gap between children from low-income families and the rest of the student population."

It also has a record of its allocation being threatened.

RTL is frequently a subject of discussion at budget time, with Republicans calling for phasing it out and even the Obama administration proposing cuts last time around.

The President proposes, but the Republican Congress will have to dispose in the sense of signing off on the new budget.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.