Florida Governor Vetoes PBS Funding
By ELIZABETH JENSEN
Just as a deal came together late last week to keep PBS programming on the air in Orlando, Florida’s public broadcasters suffered a financial blow when Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the state’s nearly $4.8 million appropriation for public broadcasting.
That figure had already been reduced by 30 percent from the amount broadcasters received last year. With the cuts, each of 13 public radio stations will lose $87,287 in state funds compared with last year, and each of the 13 public television stations will lose a subsidy of $434,837. Stations receive the same subsidy, regardless of size.
“For me, it is critical; for a small station it might be catastrophic,” said Rick Schneider, president and chief executive of Miami’s WPBT-TV. He said there was “no doubt that people are going to have to look at layoffs” and that he would not be surprised if some stations were shut down. The broadcasters will work to get the funds reinstated, he said.