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Idaho Public TV Budget Cut But Not Killed

BOISE, IDAHO: The State of Idaho this week allocated $1.4 million to its public TV system, down 16 percent from what was previously provided, Business Week said. Still, Idaho Public TV dodged the bullet proposed in January by Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, who wanted to cut funding for public TV all together over a four-year period. He later revised his position after Idaho residents balked, and has since agreed to appear on IPTV during a fund-raising drive.

The IPTV’s total operating budget is around $7 million a year. Without the state’s contribution, it anticipated closing three of its facilities. KUID-TV, the flagship station at the University of Idaho, likely would have been shut down, the Idaho Statesmen previously reported. IPTV has five full-power transmitters and 42 translators covering about 97 percent of the state’s population.

The full state legislature is expected to approve of the budget with IPTV’s allocation. In the meantime, the governor and the chief of IPTV are considering a new business plan and alternative sources of funding for the system.