At this writing, we’re dealing with a two competing, yet equally important, events: the celebration of our 50th Anniversary; and the threat of potential loss of federal funding. In a way, it’s ironic that both of these are happening at the same time. 50 years ago this year, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act into law. It provided for the creation of — and funding for — the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which provides funds for many Public TV and radio Stations…including KSPS.
The current bill, introduced by Rep. Douglas Lamborn of Colorado, calls for the defunding of CPB after the 2019 Fiscal Year. CPB receives $445 million dollars to support Public Television and Radio — $1.35 per tax payer. The key word there is “support.” As you’ve seen from our annual reports, the majority of our operating funds come from, and have always come from, viewers and friends like YOU.
Our annual grant from CPB is approximately 1 million dollars of the 5.8-million-dollar KSPS budget. Those funds help us leverage your support into more programming: such as the Thursday Night Mysteries; and more local productions, from Northwest Profiles to the Emmy-nominated documentary, Born to Learn.
When the CPB was created (several months after KSPS first broadcast on April 24th, 1967) the funds were key to the success, support and sustenance of those educational television and radio stations. For many of those stations, that hasn’t changed: those monies provide key funding as we, and many other stations, deal with declining donor dollars and increasing costs.
The good news is: it's early in the process; we’ve been through this before; and we’re working with PBS and our Washington, D.C. advocates to help make our case for support to members of both parties in Congress.
For KSPS, our mission remains the same: to bring you the programs that entertain, engage and educate to enrich all the communities we serve. Thanks to you — the thousands of donors, friends and supporters of KSPS — and supporters of PBS around the country, we’ve been able to keep federal support intact. With your continued support, KSPS will continue to produce the best local programming, and bring you the best of PBS, for 50 more years…and beyond.
KSPS President and General Manager