The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is getting $75 million courtesy of the $2 trillion emergency coronavirus economic relief package that gained Senate approval on Wednesday.
The much-needed money comes as public media stations see falling revenues.
“Corporate, foundation and individual giving to local public television stations have rapidly decreased in the wake of the economic downturn accompanying the contagion,” says Patrick Butler, the organization’s president and CEO, “even while public television stations have dramatically expanded remote learning services for millions of students whose schools have been closed in the national emergency.”
The money, Broadcasting & Cable reports, will support the facilities of noncommercial TV and radio stations, in addition to helping stations — especially rural ones— maintain operations.
The current economic crisis is likely to dramatically reduce pledges and corporate sponsorships, which make up about 85% of non-commercial budgets.
The money, in addition to shoring up station support, also acknowledges the role that public stations play in their local communities. APTS, for example, notes that public stations in more than two-dozen states are already providing high-quality educational resources via PBS Kids and PBS LearningMedia.
“Many stations are devoting their entire daytime schedules to age-appropriate educational programming,” Butler said in a news release, “and stations are also providing online services, learning games, teacher and parent guides, and other resources.”