How Trump’s Budget Could Impact New England Public Media

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President Donald Trump has proposed 54 billion in cuts to federal agencies and programs…

“The funding to the Corporation for public broadcasting actually comes through to member stations, like Vermont PBS and we can’t really operate without it,” says Vermont PBS CEO,

Holly Groschner.
 

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting supports NPR, PBS and it broadcasts familiar voices and faces across about 15,000 public television and radio stations nationwide.
 

“The people here are using public media for preschool education, and for the arts, when they can’t access, those resources, those basic tenets of human development any other way,” says Groschner.
 

PBS, public radio stations, and their listeners and viewers have banded together recently to show their support online for public media.
 

Vermont Public Television’s annual budget is about $6 million dollars, $1 million of that comes from federal funds.

Vermont PBS gets about $271,000 of its annual budget from the state.
 

The fiscal year 2018 budget, that recently passed out of the House Appropriations Committee, slashed funding entirely for the statewide network, after Vermont PBS announced in February it sold one of its four broadcast license for $56 million dollars.
 

“I want to disabuse anyone of the idea that we don’t need that federal funding as much as anyone else,” says Groschner.
 

Should the president’s budget pass, Vermont PBS CEO said their content would likely take a hit.
 

“We’d have to consider seriously what we would broadcast in a day, and re-runs and shutting down a times, we would have to put everything on the table.”
 

It’s a similar situation for New Hampshire Public Television.  It’s CEO Peter Frid called the proposal to eliminate funding for public media, “a devastating loss to New Hampshire.”

Frid says New Hampshire Public Television receives nearly $1 million dollars in federal money out of its $6.4 million dollar annual budget.

White House Budget Chief, Mick Mulvaney defended the budget earlier this month, reminding the public and the White House Press Corps that the U.S. is $20 trillion in debt.
 

But Vermont PBS says removing money for public media is only a fraction of the entire federal budget and a huge cost to public broadcasters.

“To produce this kind of broadcasting that’s high quality and educational, they spend millions and millions of dollars for each program, we must have this funding in place,” says Groschner.

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