“What a difference a year makes,” Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations, told the crowd at the group’s Public Media Summit on Monday (Feb. 27) in Arlington, Va. Last year at this time, Butler notes, the House of Representatives had just voted to eliminate all federal funding for public broadcasting. But since then pubcasters have notched several victories, including resurrecting the fiscal 2011 appropriation for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from zero to $445 million.
“Washington wisdom has it that we are likely to bump along this year with a series of stop-gap funding measures through the election; and that the mother of all lame-duck Congresses will come back after the elections to deal with a host of pressing tax and spending issues,” Butler said. “Uncertain as these prospects may be, we can take great confidence in the fact that we have earned the support of some of the most powerful Republicans and Democrats in this city. And we have made ourselves a force to be reckoned with in Washington, D.C.”
Today (Feb. 28), participants travel to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators, where they’ll be greeted by a pep talk from pubTV documentarian Ken Burns.