WASHINGTON — On Thursday, President Donald Trump proposed the elimination of all federal funding for public broadcasting, a main revenue source for local PBS and NPR stations across the country.
The cuts, part of the president’s first federal budget proposal, would zero out the $445 million annual allocation to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a nonprofit corporation created by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The bulk of CPB grants help keep local public television and radio stations on the air.
A 2017 public poll rated PBS and its 350 member stations as the most-trusted nationally known institutions, and taxpayer money “well spent” by the American public. Previous attempts to cut CPB funding by Republican administrations and Congress have been met by overwhelming public opposition.
Free Press Action Fund CEO and President Craig Aaron made the following statement:
“If the Trump administration and its allies in Congress think they can push their agenda past the tens of millions of people who rely upon public media every day, they’re in for a surprise. Poll after poll shows that NPR and PBS are the most trusted sources for news and information. Parents believe funding for programs like PBS Kids is an excellent use of their tax dollars. The public will loudly oppose these cuts and all of Trump’s attacks on essential support for local arts and culture.
“This move was expected from a president who believes the media are enemies of the American people. But members of Congress should do themselves a favor by listening to the voices of their constituents instead of cozying up to the administration and its ill-advised plan to silence NPR and PBS. Public and community media are treasured local institutions that are far more popular than Congress or this president — as they will soon be reminded.”