Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: November 1, 2010

Business First had an in depth article over the past week on all the political commercial revenue being racked up by the commercial TV stations in Columbus durng this mid-term election season. In fact, some estimates are that the ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox stations might net as much as $30 million. A conservative number is $20 million.

The ad agencies actually complain that the commercial stations have no more room for political spots or their normal commercial rotation. What if…OK, its sacrilege, but what if the FCC allowed a one month dispensation for PBS stations like WOSU every two years to offer up COMMERCIAL TV spots. That is one month every 24 months to help Public TV stations like WOSU expand its local programming, pay the utility bills and become more self sufficient. I can only imagine the impact on a public station like WOSU to receive even a 10 percent share of that conservative $20 million.

Or how about this one…Congress passes a bill that taxes that political spot revenue and local public media shares in a 10 percent pool of funds distributed every two years, which must be spent on non-commercial local programming and services.

An outrageous idea, right? But, folks, it might just be time for some outrageous changes in the archaic restrictions put on public television stations to raise revenue.