On February 27, 2018, Ted Johnson from Variety published “PBS Stations Express Cautious Optimism About Federal Funding.”
Reporting from America’s Public Television Stations' (APTS) 2018 Public Media Summit in Washington, D.C., Johnson noted the “greater sense this year of predictability over what may happen next.” Although the Trump administration has once again proposed the elimination of federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), this proposal in 2017 was not accepted by Congress. Instead, funding was secured at the same level, and the budget for Ready To Learn increased.
Patrick Butler, President and CEO of APTS, attributed this 2017 win to public media advocates: “Public broadcasting has defended itself, its missions, its viewers, and listeners against extraordinary odds, and we have won.” Mobilization efforts included “dozens of station managers [programming] on-air appeals, and a social media campaign called Protect My Public Media nearly [doubling] its e-mail list to 720,000.”
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, provided additional assurance to stations during the Summit that a “two-year budget agreement for 2018 and 2019 should be reason for optimism that there will not be drastic cuts in government programs.” Butler added that much of the worry last year came from the uncertainty of how the GOP-controlled Congress would respond to the White House budget proposal. Last year’s budget proceedings proved “who our real friends are, how resilient our system is in the face of serious challenge.”
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