WASHINGTON – December 11, 2018 – America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) president and CEO Patrick Butler issued the following statement today on the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology’s hearing on the RAY BAUM’s Act:
“America’s Public Televisions Stations strongly endorse the testimony of Milwaukee PBS General Manager Bohdan Zachary that the fund established by Congress to help viewers adapt to channel changes in the aftermath of the spectrum incentive auction should include a significant investment in local stations’ consumer education initiatives.
“As public television stations know all too well from the digital television transition a decade ago, viewers need highly detailed information and customized service to adjust to a major channel realignment, which is why we advocated so strongly for the $50 million for post-auction consumer education in the RAY BAUM’S Act.
“As Bohdan Zachary persuasively stated today, his experience in Milwaukee proved that successful consumer education cannot be achieved without a relentlessly local focus. Public television stations have a long history of close interaction with our viewers, through fundraising drives, local partnerships and community engagement activities. Local public television stations throughout the country are prepared to employ these robust community connections to facilitate consumer education for viewers of both public and commercial television, just as Milwaukee PBS did.
“We urge the FCC to invest the $50 million for consumer education in a comprehensive plan that includes significant funding for local stations’ participation in this critical initiative.
“America’s Public Television Stations commend House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn and Ranking Member Mike Doyle for their leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with the committee and the Federal Communications Commission to complete this transition efficiently and successfully and to ensure that no viewer is left behind.”
America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and helping member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.