Marketplace reports on the competitive threats and economic challenges facing public TV.

NPR reports on and provides downloads of The Mann Report, a CPB consultant’s study of political balance on PBS and NPR programs.

Pubcasters should be thrilled that the House restored CPB’s 2006 funding, but “that price will be paid, as is so often the case in today’s Washington, by the people who depend on government help for essential health care and education and job-training services,” writes David Broder in the Washington Post. The columnist looks at the programs that were cut to enable return of the system’s funds.

Public Radio Today, an Arbitron report, is chock-full of number-crunching thrills. (PDF)

CPB’s bipolar approach to political programming extends to its $20 million “America at a Crossroads” project, the New York Times reports. First, the corporation gave a preliminary grant for a film about controversial neocon and former Bush advisor Richard Perle to an old Perle pal. Then it commissioned a critical examination of Bush foreign policy to balance the first film. “I think the American tradition of journalism is that if something is controversial, the initial treatment of it would provide sufficient balance,” said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, who helped PBS update its editorial guidelines.

Big Bird and the usual Sesame Street suspects figure heavily in this collection of editorial cartoons about public broadcasting’s recent troubles, available via Slate.

Over at the TV Barn, Aaron Barnhart gives the rundown on the $112 million that’s still missing from the various coffers that fund public broadcasting every year.

In today’s Los Angeles Times, Tavis Smiley and NPR President Kevin Klose respond to the revelation that the political content analysis secretly commissioned by CPB Board Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson examined programs helmed by Smiley and Diane Rehm.

CPB named 11 more producers receiving R&D money for its America at the Crossroads project, which aims to prepare 20 hours of programming for broadcast around the fifth anniversary of 9/11. When the producers have completed R&D, CPB will choose which will get production funds.