WPBS-DT was saddened, but not surprised, by the recent proposal to eliminate funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, as outlined in the new Administration’s proposed budget.
WPBS-DT receives approximately 40% of its overall budget from State and Federal funds. This equates to approximately $1.1-Million out of a $2.7-Million annual budget. If the proposal to eliminate funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is passed, it will mean a deficit to WPBS-DT in the amount of approximately $700,000.
The unique design of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, fifty years old this year, allowed for a public/private partnership where stations could leverage federal funding in their broadcast communities. WPBS-DT leverages national resources, along with state and federal support to raise $1.6-Million each year on our own through membership initiatives, underwriting, and special events. The purpose of the Public Broadcasting Act, all those years ago, was to ‘enrich a man’s spirit and provide a place where every person has access to the ballet, symphony, opera, trusted news and children’s content.’
While we believe it’s up to us to prove our relevance and the services we provide are vital, we do this everyday, regardless of whether funding is threatened, or not. We do this every time we answer a viewer comment, attend a meeting, conduct a station tour, launch a new series, or host educational events thousands of our youngest viewers rely on every day!
We believe public television is much more than a channel, it’s a community; a story; an ideal; and, in some ways, our last hope for trusted media content. If Public Television were to go away, or be dramatically changed, a void and a vacuum would form that could never be filled.
As the eternal optimist, we believe this will never happen, because of the love and support of our viewers and the un-daunting bi-partisan support we receive from our legislators at both the local and national levels.
If you are moved to help and stand with WPBS, please visit wpbstv.org/value for more information and remember: If not WPBS, Then Who?
WPBS-TV is a non-profit public television station serving approximately 650,000 households throughout Northern
New York and Eastern Ontario. WPBS-TV’s mission is to educate, entertain and inform our two-nation audience through superior local and national content and media engagement in order to enhance the lives of those it