“Public radio and television broadcasters are girding for battle after the Trump administration proposed a drastic cutback that they have long dreaded: the defunding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” The New York Times reports.
“The potential elimination of about $445 million in annual funding, which helps local TV and radio stations subscribe to NPR and Public Broadcasting Service programming, could be devastating for affiliates in smaller markets that already operate on a shoestring budget,” the report adds.
In a statement released Thursday, CPB President Patricia Harrison warned that the enactment of the Trump proposal could result in “the collapse of the public media system itself.”
The report notes that big players in the space, such as New York City’s WNYC, “would be well-equipped to weather any cuts. Major stations typically receive only a sliver of their annual budget from the federal government, thanks to listener contributions and corporate underwriters. Podcasts and other digital offshoots have also become significant sources of revenue.”
“Rural affiliates, however, rely more heavily on congressional largess, which can make up as much as 35 percent of their budgets,” the report adds.
The CPB, which dates back to the Lyndon Johnson administration, supports about 1,500 stations.