House appropriations subcommittee squeezes public TV appropriations

A House appropriations subcommittee last week cut the budget for public TV and radio by more than $200 million or 46 percent, affecting everything from funding for “Ready to Learn” programming to monies to improve public television’s digital infrastructure and satellite network.

According to the Association for Public Television Stations, grants for local station operation and national programming through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) were cut by 25 percent, and advanced funding for CPB was eliminated.

Grants for local station operations and national programming through the CPB were cut by one-quarter, and advanced funding for CPB also was eliminated. Total cuts in federal funding for public television and radio totaled 46 percent.

The subcommittee made no new funding for digital infrastructure and interconnection programs. Last year, $79 million were allocated for those purposes.

The cuts exceeded what the White House had requested. Public TV and radio lobbyists are hoping the money will be restored in a Senate version of the bill. Ultimately, the final funding package will emerge from a House-Senate conference committee.

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