Nine Network Responds to President’s FY 2018 Budget Proposal to Eliminate Federal Funding for CPB
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“While we work every day to produce new goods and to create new wealth, we want most of all to enrich man's spirit. That is the purpose of this act.” –President Lyndon B. Johnson on the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967
St. Louis, MO — March 16, 2017 —The Nine Network is highly concerned by the president’s budget proposal to eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). CPB is the organization created by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and charged with providing funding for public television and radio stations to produce educational, engaging and high-quality content.
CPB is responsible for ensuring that 99 percent of Americans have access to a diverse landscape of programs meant to educate, inform and inspire viewers and listeners across the country. The $445 million allocated to CPB made up .01 percent of federal funding in 2016, at an average cost of $1.35 per American per year. Any final decision to eliminate CPB from the federal budget would mean a total loss of this funding.
The American people overwhelming support this work and oppose the elimination of the federal funding that makes it possible. Survey research conducted in February by the bipartisan team of Linda DiVall at American Viewpoint and Geoff Garin of Hart Research finds that three out of four voters want funding for public television maintained or increased, including 66 percent of those who voted for President Trump. More than eight in 10 voters are concerned about the loss of our public safety communications capabilities, and 76 percent are concerned about the loss of educational programs and services that help America’s children prepare for success in school. In all, 83 percent of voters claim they would tell their senator or congressperson to leave public television funding alone.
“We are deeply concerned by proposals to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” said Nine Network President and CEO Jack Galmiche. “These cuts defy the will of the American people and would devastate the educational and civic leadership missions of the public television they value. The elimination of federal funding would dramatically reduce the capacity of all stations across the country to produce high-quality compelling and educational content for the public good. For some stations, the loss of federal funding would be a fatal blow and a vital public service would be lost in those communities.”
In addition to funding for producing and purchasing programming, CPB also provides grants for programs that address key needs in communities across the country. American Graduate, which is led by the Nine Network, is one such program that provides resources and measurable outcomes to improve the nation’s graduation rates. These initiatives would be threatened by any final decision to defund CPB.
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About the Nine Network of Public Media
The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation’s most watched public television stations, the Nine Network offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life. Nine’s platforms include four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine PBS KIDS), the Nine Center for Public Engagement, the Public Media Commons, social media, and multiple websites accessible at nineNet.org. The Nine Network’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our vision of a strong and healthy community working together through public media and our mission of igniting the spirit of possibility.