Pubcasters continue fight for vital PTFP funding

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NPR and the Association of Public Television Stations haven’t yet given up on the Public Telecommunication Facilities Program, which was shut down in April after the federal budget battle (Current, April 18). According to a story on the Radio World website, lobbying efforts to restore PTFP funds are already under way.

NPR is asking Congress to approve $20 million for PTFP for fiscal 2012, said Mike Riksen, NPR’s vice president of policy and representation.”Even though the fund is relatively small, it is heavily relied upon by public radio stations to replace equipment that is worn out or antiquated,” he told Radio World. “It has been a big boost to public radio stations and keeping them on the air.”

And Patrick Butler, APTS president, told Current in a statement: “APTS and its member stations have been reaching out to key Members of Congress to work with us to restore PTFP funding. This funding is critical to public television and radio infrastructure needs, and there is no other current federal funding source addressing these needs. We’ll continue to press strongly for PTFP funding.”

  • The loss of PTFP funding also deeply affects community radio stations. There are currently over 100 community organizations with construction permits to build new stations to serve their communities. Their ability to get on the air is severely threatened by the loss of this funding, and organizations representing these community stations are also fighting hard to reinstate PTFP funding.