GM drops funding for Ken Burns, citing “financial crisis”

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General Motors is ending its long financial support of public broadcasting documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, due to the automaker’s dire business outlook. GM had covered 35 percent of each film’s budget and funded outreach under a 10-year contract inked in 1999, and had financially supported Burns’ work for years before then. The last film made with GM backing is The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, a six-part series airing this fall. “We’ve been proud to be associated with Ken’s work over the years, as he is certainly the ‘gold standard’ of documentary filmmaking,” GM spokeswoman Kelly Cusinato told The Detroit News. “But the company’s financial crisis has forced GM to rein in such spending.”