Pennsylvania zeroes out pubcasting funds

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Gov. Ed Rendell’s signature Friday on the Pennsylvania state budget eliminated the state’s pubcasting subsidy of $11.3 million. Ramifications at the eight stations have begun: Due to the cut, PBS-39, which covers Lehigh Valley, is canceling production of its 10-year-old local issues mag, Tempo!, according to The Morning Call in Allentown. The station had previously laid off about half its staff. WQED had cut 11 staff positions in July, citing the state budget. Meanwhile, reps of the Commonwealth Foundation, a policy research group in Harrisburg, Pa., backed the governor’s decision, saying government-supported pubTV is no longer necessary due to all the choices on cable.