House Moves Toward Funding Boost for CPB

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A House subcommittee has recommended $515 million for public broadcasting for fiscal year 2023, according to the America's Public Television Stations (APTS), an increase of $50 million.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies has also recommended $20 million for the interconnection facilities that allow the local stations to carry national programming.

No word yet on whether the Ready to Learn Department of Education early learning grant program will be funded.

Noncommercial broadcasting is forward funded to try and insulate it from politics, though its appropriation has been a political football for years as Republicans accused it of being too liberal and tried to cut funding.

But Republicans and Democrats now appear to be on the same page about fully funding the service, even as President Donald Trump has tried to defund it in each succeeding budget.

The money actually goes to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the independent agency set up by Congress in the 1960s to hand out the approximately 15% of noncom budgets that comes from federal dollars. The rest is from corporate sponsors and contributions from viewers and listeners.

“America’s Public Television Stations are most grateful that the House Appropriations subcommittee has recommended an appropriation of $515 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for Fiscal Year 2023,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America’s Public Television Stations.

Last June, amid the President's cries for de-funding CPB, legislators on both sides agreed to full funding-plus as well. 

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.