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Noncoms Vow to Fight Renewed Budget Ax for CPB

Noncommercial broadcast stations and the government entity that helps fund them were not happy with the Trump Administration's renewed effort to zero out government funding. 

"America's Public Television Stations are disappointed in President Trump's FY 2018 budget proposal recommending the elimination of federal funding for public media," said America's Public Television Stations president Patrick Butler. 

The White House final budget was released Tuesday and once again zeros out funding for CPB ($445 million), though leaving a little in the budget ($30.45 million) to wind it down, OMB director Mick Mulvaney told reporters in a conference call. 

"We are grateful that the Congress approved full funding for public broadcasting in its FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill a few weeks ago, and we are hopeful that Congress will continue this funding in Fiscal Year 2018 and beyond. 

Butler said noncommercial broadcasting is not a "nice-to-have" service but "some of the most essential underpinnings of our national life." 

“This is a service that benefits all Americans—those living in rural and urban areas who rely on broadcast for programs that are proven to get their children ready to learn, and provide access to life saving emergency alerts, as well as those for whom public media levels the playing field in terms of high-quality educational and informational content, through programs such as NOVA and Nature—all for approximately $1.35 in taxes per person each year," said CPB president Patricia Harrison. 

Harrison also suggested noncoms are far more than "nice to have" luxuries. "The elimination of federal funding would take away this vital foundation. Local public media stations, beginning with those serving rural communities and small towns, would cease to exist," she said. "Ultimately what would also cease to exist is high-quality commercial free early childhood content focused on educating our youngest citizens, and access to lifelong learning for all."

 "Cutting federal funding for public media would result in a tremendous loss to our country that would be especially devastating for rural and underserved communities," said PBS President Paula Kerger. "For about $1.35 per citizen, per year, Americans reap significant benefits in terms of school readiness for children, trusted resources for teachers and homeschoolers, civil discourse and critical public safety communications."

(Photo via Pictures of Money's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 17, 2015 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)