KVCR-TV might not survive immediate CPB funding cut, station president says

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“Halt to federal funding could doom KVCR-TV” reads a headline in today’s (Dec. 6) Sun newspaper in San Bernadino, Calif. With Republicans ramping up the fight to annihilate CPB funding, the local station is concerned: More than 13 percent of its $6 million operating budget comes from the corporation.

“We’d end up having to cut the budget significantly,” Larry Ciecalone, president of KVCR, told the paper. “I’m not really sure we could sustain an instant cut. If we were to wean us from that over a period of four to five years, it’s doable. It’s just not doable immediately.” But that immediate cut is what some Republican lawmakers, including California Rep. Jerry Lewis, want. He is in the running for chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. (Ironically, Lewis was instrumental in securing a critical earmark for KVCR’s digital transition: Current, Feb. 11, 2002.)

“We’ve always had battles with Congress over this stuff,” Ciecalone said. “But it’s probably a more serious threat than it’s ever been in that Republicans do have the votes to make it happen.”

The station recently announced a partnership with the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, which pledged $6 million over three years to help KVCR develop the first national TV channel about Native Americans (Current, July 10). It’s expected to launch in spring 2011.