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Thursday - March 16, 2017 7:14 pm

Public broadcasting getting cut by Trump, but Congress makes the decision Featured

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Feds currently fund 10% of public broadcasting.

It's not as simple as saving Bob the Builder on PBS. You can't hope to just salvage the Antiques Road Show.  

But there's some detriment that those running public television and radio are expecting with President Donald Trump's proposal to completely defund public broadcasting.

"This is not good news, certainly," Gene Purcell, executive director of the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, said. "But it is a chance for us to tell our story and a chance to see what kind of support we have in Congress."

The feds currently fund 10 percent of public broadcasting in the nation and that kind of cut probably won't put an end to public radio and television.  

But they could look different, according to Purcell.

"It's good to have the budget proposal actually made now so we, basically, know where we stand," he said. "And it gives us an opportunity to make our case with Congress, who actually writes the budget."

Purcell added that the cuts could also mean some parts of the state will lose station coverage - some of the less populated parts of the state.

"One of the things that federal funding makes possible is to ensure," Purcell said, "not only the urban areas have public broadcasting, but that all parts of the state have access to it."

Purcell is optimistic that Congress can be persuaded to maintain current funding levels.  

Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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