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Obama keeps public radio, TV budget intact.


Big Bird made an appearance on the presidential campaign trail last year, and now he’s being rewarded.  The Obama budget plan released yesterday keeps federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting at previously targeted levels.  It includes $445 million for CPB’s fiscal 2016 advanced appropriation.

CPB chief Patricia Harrison says that two-year advance serves as an “important firewall ensuring editorial independence in programming decisions.”  CPB distributes more than 70% of its federal funds directly to local public radio and television stations, making up a sizable portion of some smaller stations’ budgets.  “His request reaffirms that federal funding for public media is a vital investment — one that continues to deliver proven value and service to our country,” Harrison says.

But budget-cutting critics aren’t so sure.  A bipartisan commission suggested zeroing-out public media subsidies in 2010.  And several Republicans in Congress have pressed to cut NPR funding, but their bills have been blocked.   It’s likely they’ll take another whack at CPB funding as budget negotiations move forward in the coming months.


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