Congress Agrees to Boost CPB Funding

The House and Senate have agreed to a $20 million increase in funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

It is the first funding increase in a decade, according to Americas Public Television Station, with both Republican and Democratic Administration's having made noises about cutting the funding and President Donald Trump trying to defund noncommercial TV and radio. 

Related: House Approves Full Funding-Plus for Noncoms 

The house agreed to the bump in approving a package of funding bills Tuesday to keep the government running past Friday and fund 2020 operations, a move applauded by America's Public Television Stations.  

“America’s Public Television Stations are grateful for this increase, which will begin to restore the nearly $100 million in purchasing power public broadcasting has lost in a decade of frozen funding,” said APTS President Patrick Butler following the package's approval. 

“While we have appreciated steady funding through 10 years of budgetary austerity, we have been under increasing pressure to do more with less in recent years," he said. "Technology, viewer habits and our public service missions have changed dramatically during this time, and this increase in funding to $465 million will enable local public television stations to educate more children, protect more lives and property, and equip more well-informed citizens with the tools they need to guide the world’s most important democracy,” Butler said. 

The Senate is expected to approve ton the bicameral package when it considers the spending bills later this week. 

CPB was created by Congress to give out the approximately 15% of noncommercial media budgets that comes from federal funding. The process is forward funded to try to remove politics from the calculus, though that has been honored more in the breach than the observance, particularly by Republicans alleging liberal bias.

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.