Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: July 9, 2012

If Congress stops allocating federal funds to public broadcasting, what would happen?  A new study points to a bleak future for many stations across America.  At least 54 public TV stations and 76 public radio operators would be at “high risk of no longer being able to sustain operations” if federal support disappeared.  The report produced by Booz & Company and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (the private federal agency that funds public stations), described the many possible alternative funding sources for public stations in some 181 pages.  It concluded that a loss of federal support could not be replaced, and to survive many stations may have to plunge into the “chase for ratings” and simply emulate commercial broadcasting.  As the report states, “ending federal funding for public broadcasting would severely diminish, if not destroy public broadcasting service in the United States.”  I hope you ask your congressional representatives and others during this election year if they plan to support cutting federal funding to public media. At peril is a unique system of noncommercial stations built over the past four decades focused on serving our communities with a mission of public service and not profit.