PBS grandfathers sectarian shows

In a compromise with the few pubTV stations that carry religious programming, the PBS Board voted June 16 to allow them to keep their PBS membership without dropping the shows. Member stations also can carry worship services and other clearly sectarian programs on their DTV multicast channels or other distribution platforms so long as they don’t carry the PBS name or PBS-distributed programming. The ruling pleased the handful of pubTV stations that have longtime commitments to religious broadcasts. The PBS Board, aiming to maintain a clear separation between public TV’s identity and religious groups, did draw a line on sectarian programs, but the new member eligibility rule is much less restrictive than what the network’s Station Services Committee proposed in February. Stations that want to keep their membership in PBS won’t be able to add any new sectarian programs on their main channels or wherever PBS programs or the PBS name are used.