NEA Makes Steep Cuts in Funding to Iconic WNET Series

The National Endowment for the Arts has slashed funding for
some high-profile PBS shows produced by flagship noncom producer WNET,
including American Masters and Great Performances, according to, which tracks noncom news.

"The news our producers have received regarding the
most recent NEA grants is extremely disappointing as PBS' partnership with the
NEA has been in place for decades and the funds invested by the endowment have
been the foundation for some of PBS' most popular and distinctive content,
including American Masters, Great Performances, Live From Lincoln Center and POV," PBS President and CEO Paula
Kerger said of the cuts. "Each one of these long-running series has received
substantial cuts in NEA support in its most recently announced grants,"
she said, while "Live from Lincoln
, which was created in part through the support of the Endowment, was
entirely defunded."

Current's Dru Sefton reports that American Masters and Great
, which received $400,000 from NEA last year, are only getting
$175,000 this time around, with that money also funding The Electric Animation
Festival. NEA is redirecting some of its funding to digital new media.

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.