Monday, July 31, 2017

PBS Chief: "There Is No Plan B"

PBS President and Chief Executive Paula Kerger wasn't pulling any punches Sunday at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour in Beverly Hills, reports The LATimes.

"When people say, 'What is the Plan B for [loss of federal funding]?' There is no Plan B for that," Kerger said of the potential budget crisis public broadcasting faces under the Trump administration.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been under fire for months, with President Trump's proposed budget axing the institution's $450-million budget.

Though it's easy to suggest that budget cuts would threaten Big Bird's livelihood, the true victims of defunding would be far more human.

Kerger explained that of PBS' $450-million budget, one-third goes to radio. Of the television budget, most goes to community service grants that local stations use for up to 50% of their operating budgets.

"PBS itself will not go away. But a number of our stations will. If you are a station for whom 30 or 40 or 50% of your funding is suddenly pulled away, there's no way you can make up that money," Kerger said. "You will find big parts of the country that will suddenly be without public broadcasting."

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