CPB’s $7.5M in pubmedia news grants honors slain Charlie Hebdo journalists

CPB reacted Jan. 8 to the attack on journalists at the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo by announcing grants totaling $7.5 million to four public media newsrooms.

“Now more than ever it takes so much courage to be a journalist,” said CPB President Pat Harrison in an to public media managers. “To understand that every word you may write, every cartoon you might draw could be your last. The chilling effect this can have may result in stories not told, reports not filed, journalism watered down.” CPB awarded the grants in memory of eight journalists who were killed. The money is given “in support of freedom of the press and freedom of expression,” Harrison said. Continue Reading

Spending bill in Congress keeps CPB funding intact

CPB is set to receive its full requested appropriation in the spending bill nearing passage in Congress, which will fund the government through next September. The 1,603-page bill, already passed by the House of Representatives, includes the full $445 million appropriation for CPB in fiscal year 2017. CPB traditionally receives its appropriation two years in advance to help facilitate production pipelines. Ready to Learn will also receive its requested funding of $25.7 million if the bill passes as written. No critics of public media have surfaced to call for zeroing out CPB funding, said Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations and public TV’s chief lobbyist on the Hill. Continue Reading

FCC reps tell CPB board of growing interest in spectrum auction

WASHINGTON, D.C. — An increasing number of public broadcasters have been contacting the FCC in recent weeks for information about participating in the upcoming spectrum auction, according to commission representatives who spoke at a CPB board meeting here Tuesday. The uptick began after an Oct. 1 report by investment banking firm Greenhill & Co. projected massive paydays for television stations if they sell spectrum to wireless carriers in next year’s congressionally mandated auction. Most pubTV stations, the representatives said, have been asking the FCC for details about transitioning from UHF to VHF channels. Continue Reading