WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 5, 2017 - Patrick Butler, president and chief executive officer of America's Public Television Stations (APTS), issued the following statement today:
"America's Public Television Stations are most grateful to Commissioners Pai and O'Rielly for their statement in opposition to the Media Bureau order requiring non-commercial educational television stations to provide "ownership" information to the Commission.
"The public owns our stations, which operate as licensees of communities, States, universities or school districts. Those who serve on public television station boards are unpaid volunteers. Requiring them to provide sensitive personal information to the Commission is a pointless exercise that advances no identifiable public interest.
"We strongly support the goal of ensuring that diverse viewpoints and perspectives are available to the American people over the broadcast airwaves. This is the mandate of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.
"But the proposed “ownership” reporting requirements simply do not recognize or reflect the unique governance structure and organization of public broadcasting licensees.
"We intend to request a review and a reversal of this order by the full Commission, and we are encouraged by the commitment of Commissioners Pai and O'Rielly to pursue this course."
America's Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and providing essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.