The Association of Public Television Stations thanked advocates beyond
the D.C. Beltway
APTS gave its David J. Brugger Grassroots Advocacy Award to Dr. Louis Sullivan, board chair of the Atlanta Educational Telecommunications Collaborative Inc. and former U.S. secretary of health and human services. The Brugger Award, named for the former APTS president, recognizes an individual who has shown “exemplary leadership in advocacy on behalf of public television,” APTS said. APTS’ National Advocacy Awards for 2010 saluted individuals or stations that exemplify effective advocacy for pubTV. Recipients were: Malcolm Brett of Wisconsin Public Television, Molly Phillips of Iowa Public Television, and Rob Shuman of Maryland Public Television. APTS said Brett’s “understated style but dogged determination” were evident last year as he worked with his congressman, Rep. David Obey, to win fiscal stabilization funds for stations.
While the Association of Public Television Stations and its member stations’ activists will be busy enough fighting off the cutback of more than $140 million just proposed by the White House (separate story), the group is working on a slate of new longer-range proposals to take to Congress. ¶ Notably, public TV will seek additional funding for an American Archive project that would preserve and catalog programs and clear rights for long-term public access, APTS President John Lawson said in an interview. ¶ APTS will also ask for changes in copyright law to ease clearance and expand rights for educational uses, he said. ¶ Lawson spoke with Current editors in APTS’ offices in downtown Washington. Current: By Feb.
APTS sent this letter to CPB Board Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson on June 7, 2005, after media reported that he favors the appointment of former Republican National Committee Chairwoman Patricia Harrison as CPB president. The letter refers to an earlier letter from the Iowa Public Broadcasting Board to the CPB Board. Dear Mr. Tomlinson:
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established to represent the interests of its members — the nation’s public television stations. APTS works closely with individual station representatives to produce effective national policies and strategies that allow stations to fulfill their individual local missions. In fulfilling their missions, public television stations are committed to firm principles of editorial integrity and programming diversity, which are enhanced through digital service.
With a show of hands, all but a few public TV station chiefs attending an APTS Capitol Hill Day meeting Feb. 24  said the lobbying group should keep developing its “digital-only broadcasting,” or DOB, strategy. [APTS went public with the plan in a press release March 18.]
Instead of continuing to use analog TV channels for the next decade or more, the strategy goes, public TV would make a concerted effort to speed viewers’ move to digital over-the-air broadcasting, cable or satellite reception. The government, pleased to earn billions from early auctions of the channels, would give public TV special assistance in exchange. Public TV would not only save transmitter power bills but could also win mandated cable carriage and an endowed trust fund from Congress, APTS President John Lawson told station execs.
Two years after the CPB funding crisis began to subside, public TV’s assigned public-policy representative, the president of America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), was giving variations on this stump speech at meetings of pubcasters. This is an edited version of David Brugger’s remarks to the FirstView instructional TV screening conference in August 1998. One of the important revelations to station professionals and lay volunteers during our last Capitol Hill Day was that their members of Congress often fed back the message they had heard from the more than 85 percent of their constituents in your home towns who said they wanted continued or increased federal funding — this, in many cases, from members of Congress who had been ardent opponents of federal funding just 18 months before. Last summer’s Roper survey showed that Americans see public radio and public television as their second- and third-best values in return for tax dollars spent. This is even higher than during the 1995 funding crisis when we were No.
These are the bylaws of APTS, as of June 1998, a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation that represents public TV in Washington. At that point, the group was calling itself the Association of America’s Public Television Stations, or America’s Public Television Stations for short. ARTICLE I. OFFICES AND REGISTERED AGENT. Section 1. Registered Office.
A federal appeals court has upheld the little-noticed 1992 law setting aside 4-7 percent of direct broadcast satellite capacity for “noncommercial programming of an educational or informational nature.” The Aug. 30, 1996, decision, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. [text of ruling], overturned a 1993 District Court decision that ruled the DBS set-aside had violated DBS operators’ First Amendment rights. If the decision isn’t appealed successfully to the Supreme Court, the set-aside means that a DBS operator with 175 channels — that’s how many DirecTV claims — will have to offer 7-12 channels of noncommercial fare on its menu. The ruling provides ‘a great basis’ for arguing that broadcasters airing multiple digital channels be required to provide some noncommercial programming, says Sohn.