Perspectives

President Trump’s Budget Proposal Eliminates Funds for Public Broadcasting

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President Donald Trump’s budget proposal released Thursday morning includes cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps to finance public radio and television stations. CPB received $445 million in the current fiscal year.

PBS President Paula Kerger released the following statement: “PBS and our nearly 350 member stations, along with our viewers, continue to remind Congress of our strong support among Republican and Democratic voters, in rural and urban areas across every region of the country. We have always had support from both parties in Congress, and will again make clear what the public receives in return for federal funding for public broadcasting. The cost of public broadcasting is small, only $1.35 per citizen per year, and the benefits are tangible: increasing school readiness for kids 2-8, support for teachers and homeschoolers, lifelong learning, public safety communications and civil discourse.”

Two new national surveys — one by Rasmussen Reports (subscribers) and another conducted jointly by leading Republican and Democratic researchers for PBS — reveal that voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose eliminating federal funding for public television. Rasmussen shows that just 21% of Americans – and only 32% of Republicans –favor ending public broadcasting support. In the PBS Hart Research-American Viewpoint poll, 83% of voters – including 70% of those who voted for President Trump – say they want Congress to find savings elsewhere.

According to WOUB’s General Manager Mark Brewer, the elimination of funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be detrimental to local stations.

“As a rural station, WOUB relies on these funds to ensure that the area continues to have access to news & information, culture, and educational programming, that otherwise would not occur.”

The loss of these grants would have a major impact on the services WOUB provides, on both radio and television.

  • WOUB Public Media receives roughly $1.2 million in Community Service Grants from CPB, about 25% of their overall budget.
  • In combination with local funds raised, these dollars purchase programming for both radio and television.

The cuts to CPB would directly affect WOUB Public Media.

  • For radio, NPR only receives about 1% of its budget from CPB. More than 90% of the funds go to local stations as grants, in turn, to purchase NPR and other public radio programming.

The amounts of the grants received from CPB are directly tied to the local dollars raised. Through the grants, WOUB, currently, is rewarded for serving our listeners and viewers, and provided with financial incentives to keep improving.

WOUB provides emergency alert services to portions of three states. 

WOUB Public Media’s Radio network provides Emergency Alert System (EAS) including amber alert, messaging to 55 counties throughout southeastern Ohio, western W.Va., and northeast Kentucky. WOUB Radio serves as a State of Ohio EAS Licensed Primary 1 station (LP1). Many radio stations throughout the region get their EAS information from the WOUB radio signal.

WOUB, along with Ohio’s 12 other public media outlets, is a partner in the OEAS Public AlertNet, a statewide, multilingual, technology backbone that uses television signals to deliver critical emergency alerts and messaging to other broadcasters and public safety officials, who in turn deliver them to the public. OEAS will automatically provide the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) alerts and messaging in both English and Spanish.

Both WOUB TV and WOUC TV stations transmit AWARN (Advanced Warning and Response Network) data. AWARN data is the next generation of emergency reporting and is administered by FEMA. Find additional information about the AWARN system at this link. 

The non-profit group Protect My Public Media has an online petition to sign to show your support for public media. Find the petition and additional information here. 

Contacts for Senators and State Representatives: 

Senator Rob Portman 

Senator Sherrod Brown

Representatives

Find your congressional representative at this link.