PBS 2017 draft budget contains 1.5 percent dues increase

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The PBS Board approved a $343.2 million draft budget last week that recommends a 1.5 percent hike in member station dues for fiscal 2017.

The draft projects growth of $1.2 million from PBS’s $342 million FY16 budget. With the board’s April 6 endorsement, PBS will send the proposal to member stations for comment.

The dues increase will support general audience content development, according to PBS spokesperson Jan McNamara, allowing PBS to maintain spending at this year’s funding level. Support for fundraising programming will remain flat.

PBS’s other budget priorities include educational services, such as the new PBS Kids streaming and multicast channel; station support, particularly around digital engagement; and the transition to a new interconnection system.

PBS has hired consultant Deloitte as an “impartial third party” to manage the Request for Proposal process for building the next interconnection system, McNamara said. Deloitte will help select vendors to provide the products and services needed to implement the update.

The PBS board will vote on the final budget in June.