PBS board approves 3% station dues increase for FY24

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PBS’ board of directors unanimously approved an operating plan and budget for fiscal year 2024 Thursday that increases station dues by 3%.

The network’s dues income will increase by $6.4 million in FY24, reaching $218.3 million. PBS’ total budget is expected to break even at $372.2 million, a 3.6% increase over FY23.

The major line items among PBS’ expenses are expected to increase for FY24, including content and marketing, which is projected to jump by $11.4 million to $240.7 million. During the board meeting Thursday, PBS President Paula Kerger said the organization will ramp up production and distribution of films in public television’s usual wheelhouse of arts programming and shows about environmental issues, among other topics.

The budget also includes $14.4 million of PBS’ own funds for increased investments in data security, live local linear feeds, and upgrades to the user interface for the membership streaming platform Passport.

CFO and Treasurer Tom Tardivo broke down the sources of funding for PBS’ proposed investments during a finance committee meeting Wednesday. $8.9 million will be transferred from money the board has previously set aside for projects. PBS will also transfer $4.3 million of investment returns into its operating budget and spend $1.2 million of funds not used in previous years.

Nominated board members

On behalf of the nominating and corporate governance committee, Kerger announced the slate of nominees for PBS’ next board election in August. New members will take seats at a September board meeting. Four seats are in play.

The nominees are Greg Petrowich, CEO of WFYI in Indianapolis; Sean Plater, GM for WHUT in Washington, D.C.; and Kitty Lensman, CEO of Public Media Connect, the Ohio pubcasting partnership of CET in Cincinnati, ThinkTV in Dayton and the Southwestern Ohio Instructional Technology Association.

The incumbent nominees are Mark Contreras, CEO of Connecticut Public; Michael Isip, CEO of KQED in San Francisco; and Sandra Cordova Micek, CEO of WTTW in Chicago.

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