Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: October 9, 2012

Following last week’s presidential debate, the unprecedented outpouring of support for public broadcasting has been amazing. We know Big Bird felt the love, and so did we.

With Big Bird as part of our PBS lineup for 40-years, WOSU has embodied the public broadcasting mission — harnessing the power of media for the good of citizens, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay.

It’s important to us that you understand that government funding is a critically important piece of our funding at WOSU Public Media.  Consider this:

  • The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget.
  • Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households tune in to their local PBS station. In fact, our service is watched by 81% of all children between the ages of 2 and 8.
  • Federal funding predominately goes to public television and radio stations across the country. For many rural stations, federal support amounts to 50 percent or more of their annual budget.
  • At a time when the role of federal government is being debated, public stations are stellar examples of economy and impact — locally owned and community focused and funded through a public/private mix of resources.  For every $1 of federal funding invested, stations raise at least $6 on their own.
  • Federal funding would  be virtually impossible for most stations to replace.  And if ad sales are allowed and encouraged, we become like every other commercial broadcaster with a mission to sell rather than serve.  Doesn’t America deserve better?

Viewers like you make all the difference. So “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, join the 170 million Americans for Public Broadcasting.

And in case you missed our friend Carroll Spinney as Big Bird on Saturday Night Live — it was a treat! Carroll was our special guest at the opening of our WOSU@COSI studios.


  • Ray

    I would love to see this, but missed it. How many others want WOSU to replay it?