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Rural Public TV Stations Get $6.2 Million from USDA

WASHINGTON: Public TV operations in 13 states received $6.2 million in funding from the Department of Agriculture for digital conversion projects. The funding is provided through the Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program, which is administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. The program provides equipment funding to public stations that serve substantial rural populations.

The funding will support digital transition efforts, which include replacing outdated transmission equipment in isolated rural areas. For example, the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television has been selected to receive a grant to place digital translators in eight isolated rural communities. USDA funds will also be used for one digital translator to serve a rural part of southern West Virginia that had previously received analog service. The project will provide public broadcasting coverage to several counties which lost good quality over-the-air signals.

Funding for individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the grant agreement, the agency said. The recipients are as follows:

Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University; $177,508
Redwood Empire Public Television Inc.; $550,275
Idaho Public Television; $142,025
Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University; $749,000
Kentucky Authority for Educational Television; $677,920
Maine Public Broadcasting; $655,580
University of Central Missouri; $576,246
Prairie Public Broadcasting Inc.; $382,725
Regents of the University of New Mexico; $39,000
St. Lawrence Valley, N.Y., Educational Television Council Inc.; $698,693
Southern Oregon Public Television; $246,512
Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council, WCTE TV; $183,154
West Tennesee Public Television Council Inc.; $735,550
West Virginia Education Broadcasting Authority; $366,000