CPB funding could be reduced, but probably not eliminated: Report

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A comprehensive post-election analysis from the powerhouse Washington, D.C., law firm Patton Boggs is cautiously optimistic that public broadcasting funding will not be zeroed out, despite recent calls by conservatives to end that support.

While the furor over the firing of NPR commentator Juan Williams has generated a flurry of demands to end federal financial backing of the pubcasting system, the Patton Boggs analysts expect the controversy won’t significantly endanger that support. Also, the Republican takeover of the House and increased presence in the Senate don’t necessarily signal a cash catastrophe. ” … [W]e do not expect federal funding for NPR or public broadcasting will be eliminated,” especially because the White House strongly opposes those cuts. The last attempts to do so “were not successful because supporters of popular programming rallied to defend the appropriation, and we expect a similar outcome this year.”

However, challenging times remain ahead. “While funding for the CPB is not likely to be ended, we do believe that future appropriations for public broadcasting may be reduced from present levels, as they were in the early years of the last Republican Congress.” The report, “President Barack Obama and the Closely Divided 112th Congress: An Angry Electorate Has Spoken, Now What?,” is available free online (PDF).