“The tide has turned considerably” on public broadcasting funding, according to Patrick Butler, president of America’s Public Television Stations, after years of recessionary cuts and ideological opposition in Congress and statehouses.
A report from Stateline, which analyzes state policy trends for the Pew Charitable Trusts, found that this year 13 states increased funding for public TV and radio, 10 kept funding steady and seven made cuts; the study did not have figures for remaining states. Sixteen states do not fund public broadcasting.
Stateline also noted that of the seven states that reduced pubcasting funding, only three trimmed more than 3 percent.
Stateline cited Alabama as a “stunning example of a legislative change of heart.” Lawmakers approved a 35 percent increase to Alabama Public Television, the largest boost in the country for fiscal year 2017.
But while state funding for larger stations has largely recovered since the recession, many smaller stations are still struggling, according to Ted Krichels, CPB’s v.p. for system development.