Protect What is Ours

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a meeting in Washington, DC with other PBS Managers and leaders on the national level, such as PBS President, Paula Kerger and CPB President, Patricia Harrison.

As you may have heard, it has been suggested that future funding for public broadcasting be zeroed out… that includes PBS and NPR. It also includes technical support funding such as the PTFP (Public Television Facilities Program) and RUS (Rural Utilities Service).

All of that would have dire consequences on your PBS station, WCTE. In fact, WCTE has been the recipient of a number of competitive grants in the last four years, which improved our signal and service to this region we call home. Much of this funding was derived from those sources targeted for elimination.

We can all recognize the need for fiscal review and change within our country, but I encourage you to consider the loss for local communities if the de-funding of public broadcasting were to come to pass. All across this great country of ours, PBS stations refl ect the voice of our citizens and the communities we serve. This is a design that is scarce in today’s media landscape and yet so very necessary to keep our heritage and uniqueness as a country alive.

Public Television Stations are located in every part of the United States and the most alarming thing to me is that if we lose or even damage this design of free, over the air, non-commercial, educational, inspirational television and radio, it will be a design that could not be replicated again. By removing a local community voice and service, the loss would be so profound that future generations would forever pay the price.

The mere $1.54 per person per year of federal funding received by public broadcasting produces exponential returns for taxpayers, including high-quality programming and services on a local and national level; unmatched children’s programming; formal and informal educational instruction for all ages; in-depth news and public affairs programming; and a clear and uncompromising voice of local communities all across America.

The future is bright in public media service on a local and national level, which is why we must protect what is ours… protect the investment… protect WCTE. 2011 will bring about great things and you are instrumental in that greatness and in creating an environment that recognizes the value of education and inspiration for all Americans. We are grateful for you and for your support.

Thank you and I wish you the best in this New Year!
Becky Magura, President & CEO of WCTE

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