PA Public Television Network another victim of state budget cuts

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has proposed a wide range of cuts in his budget. Among the programs he wants to eliminate is the Pennsylvania Public Television Network. That means the state’s eight public TV stations would lose 7.9 million dollars in state grants. One of those stations is WHYY.

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has proposed a wide range of cuts in his budget. Among the programs he wants to eliminate is the Pennsylvania Public Television Network. That means the state’s eight public TV stations would lose 7.9 million dollars in state grants. One of those stations is WHYY.

    Listen:
    [audio: reports20090410pptn.mp3]

    Rendell’s budget scales back operational costs from 4.3 to 2 million dollars, and completely eliminates funding for individual stations.

    Tony May, the chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Television Network Commission, says he’s worried two of the state’s eight stations would have to go off the air if those cuts remain.

    May: People of good will can argue about how much money we can give to public television at a time when funds are in short supply, that the state is in deficit.  But to force stations off the air, to force wide scale layoffs of people, is not in the state’s economic interest.

    May says for smaller stations, state grants make up thirty percent of operating costs.

    Executives at WITF in Harrisburg say the station’s 900-thousand dollars in state funding represents 20 employee salaries.

    But Governor Rendell has said he doesn’t think the state needs to oversee public TV stations.

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