PBS won’t raise dues income again next year; Kerger warns it may lose capabilities and impact

Paula Kerger wants public TV stations to know that the combination of flat station dues, dwindling resources and balanced budgets may be slowly strangling PBS’s ability to fund new-media innovation. “We can’t continue to go down this path,” the network president told her board March 26 [2010]. PBS’s member stations are strangling, too, and the network probably can’t count on them to contribute more in dues for fiscal year 2011, which starts in July. The board endorsed a balanced budget — to be sent to stations for comment — that relies on no increases in assessments for member services, program services or fundraising programming.The board also capped at 5 percent any dues increase or decrease levied on an individual station. Fiscal 2011 will be PBS’s second year in a row without an increase in station support.