WASHINGTON D.C.—America’s Public Television Stations has issued a statement praising President Biden’s recommendation of $565 million in advance funding for public broadcasting in his fiscal year 2023 budget.
“We very much appreciate the President’s endorsement of public media’s public service missions and his proposal for a $40 million increase in the federal investment for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” said Patrick Butler, president and chief executive officer of America’s Public Television Stations. “We are grateful for this recognition of the critical role our local stations play in their communities and the essential services they provide all Americans in education, public safety and civic leadership.
Butler also noted that the “President’s funding recommendation would help restore the $100 million in lost purchasing power caused by 10 years of flat federal funding for CPB, and if approved by Congress will set us on a path toward dramatic improvements in the ability of local public television stations to provide the educational services, the public safety communications, the civic literacy and the beloved programming which millions of Americans need and value.
The group also praised the fact that “the President’s budget recommends $60 million in FY 2023 for the annual station interconnection account, which is the backbone of the public broadcasting system, supporting nationwide emergency alerting, providing local stations with national programming, connecting stations with each other, and creating operational efficiencies,” Butler said. “This fund also supports important system-wide digital infrastructure, addressing our system’s growing needs including cybersecurity, modern content delivery networks, and data management, among others.
The group also applauded the President’s continued support and recommendation of funding for Ready To Learn, a competitive grant program at the Department of Education that supports the creation and distribution of educational media content to millions of children across America and it said APTS remains “hopeful” that Congress will include level funding of $40 million for the Next Generation Warning System at FEMA to support the public media infrastructure that the nation depends on to transmit emergency alerts and warnings to every part of the country.
Public broadcasting stations reach 99% of the American people, the APTS said, making them an essential part of the national alert and warning system. But it also noted that a recent CPB study identified at least $300 million in unmet infrastructure needs throughout the public media system – needs which threaten the reliability of our public safety mission.
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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