Public television’s strongest case for preserving tax-based support for stations and CPB centers on informing political leaders about the full range of public-service work that stations deliver to local communities, particularly in the field of education, according to the field’s lead advocates in Washington, D.C.
Efforts to build political support for continued federal funding of public broadcasting have gained little or no traction on Capitol Hill, a parade of speakers told the CPB Board during its Sept. 10 and 11 meeting in Washington, D.C.
Two members of Congress, a CPB staffer and heads of three national pubcasting organizations encouraged CPB’s leaders to do more to convince lawmakers that public broadcasting would be irreparably harmed by the loss of CPB’s $445 million appropriation. Dire warnings from this summer’s report on scant alternative funding sources haven’t swayed lawmakers who’ve pledged to defund CPB. The Booz & Co. financial analysis, requested by Congress in December 2011 and delivered in June, concluded that withdrawal of aid would have a “cascading debilitating effect,” starting first with stations serving rural areas and ultimately leading to the collapse of the public broadcasting system.