Report: 24 states cut funds for public broadcasting, four deleted all state support

Washington – Almost half of all U.S. states have reduced their funding for public radio and television, according to a report this week from Free Press. The analysis shows $30 million was cut from state funding for the 2012 fiscal year and cumulative state support since 2008 has dropped by over $200 million. Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania completely eliminated state support for public broadcasting. In New Jersey, this resulted in the longtime state network going off the air in June, as CCLP reported last summer. Since 2008, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, South Carolina, and Virginia have reduced support…

PBS loses a 4th station; public television local news commitment questioned

WASHINGTON — The Public Broadcasting System has been abandoned by a fourth station, WIPR-TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As previously reported, KCET-TV in Los Angeles dropped its PBS programming in January of this year. Two public television stations in Florida followed suit in early July. WIPR canceled its PBS affiliation after an unsuccessful year-long negotiation over the amount the station would pay for programming, according to an article in Current magazine. That was exactly the same pattern as in Los Angeles, according to KCET President and General Manager Al Jerome in an interview late last week with CCLP. In…

Fund cuts for public television lead to mergers; is there life after PBS?

WASHINGTON – Coping with reduced funding by state governments and other sources, public television stations are pursuing diverse options ranging from mergers and consolidation to dropping PBS network programs. As reported in early July, funding cuts led to the demise of the New Jersey Network of PBS stations, which were merged into New York's WNET. The station had earlier acquired WLIW on Long Island, so currently, WNET controls PBS programming on stations well to the east and south of New York City. New York is not unique: San Francisco's public television station, KQED, acquired KTEH, serving San Jose and the…

NJ Public Television Signs Off; Other PBS, NPR Stations Threatened by Cuts

WASHINGTON — While the nation celebrated the holiday weekend of independence, New Jersey's public television network signed off for the last time and many other PBS stations around the US may soon follow suit. The reason: cuts in funding from state governments across the country. As I had written about on the blog last December, NJN has finally come to the end of its broadcasting days. The final New Jersey newscast on NJN was Thursday night. At its end, viewers saw a simple sign, "New Jersey Network. April 5, 1971 – June 30, 2011." As of that night, 130 employees…

Landmark FCC Report highlights CCLP research

For its new report assessing the national and local media landscape and offering policy recommendations on how to preserve the public's access to news and information, the Federal Communications Commission appointed award-winning journalist and CCLP Senior Fellow Cinny Kennard to the working group that led research, conducted interviews and drafted the document. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski publicly thanked Kennard in his remarks at the FCC meeting in Washington D.C. on June 9. Kennard (pictured below) assembled a research team that included CCLP junior fellows Rebecca Shapiro and Monica Alba, along with research associates Cater Lee and Sarah Erickson. They investigated…

Leading Journalism Association Spotlights CCLP Research on Funding the News

CCLP’s groundbreaking report, Public Policy and Funding the News, continues to garner media hits and attention of experts in journalism. On March 28th, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication cited the CCLP study in their call for Congress to maintain federal funding of public broadcasting. As research also points out, commercial media enterprises have —- for most of this country’s history —- received federal assistance in the form of discounted postal subsidies and tax breaks, for instance. Yet, Americans trust public media more for relevant, complete news. A recent Roper Poll listed PBS as the nation’s most-¬≠trusted institution….

NPR chief Vivian Schiller: Don’t take the work of news gatherers for granted

At this time of tremendous upheaval in American news media, its leaders should not focus on transformation at the expense of fortifying and expanding concrete, on-the-ground reporting. That was the message offered Thursday by NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller as she delivered the James L. Loper Lecture in Public Service Broadcasting at USC Annenberg. "For well over a decade, at gatherings like this, news people have obsessed about transformational technologies, vanishing business models and new paradigms of mass communication," Schiller told an audience of students, faculty members and leaders of influential Los Angeles-area media who gathered at USC Town…