Public Broadcasting Service, known as PBS, and National Public Radio, known as NPR, have been the leading broadcasting stations for television and radio stations across the country since 1970, just like San Antonio’s own KSTX, 89.1 and KLRN. Broadcasting topics from world news to national news, jazz sets, arts, and culture, both non-profit organizations have become leaders in the industry. As congressmen look for budget cuts, the stations are beginning to catch high water as funding looks to be dropped soon from the mega station, which thrives on endowments and payments from the government.
NPR works as a parent company in public broadcasting, gathering funds from contributing radio stations that send out its news, jazz and talk shows. PBS also receives a substantial amount of their funding, approximately 13% from the federal government.
As the bill has reached the Senate, Republicans (led by Jim DeMitt) push for the proposed bill as a counter to the Federal Communications Commission’s enforcement of the new net neutrality rules and gain on federal deficits. Currently, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives around $420 million. This funding is distributed among the private broadcasting companies of NPR and PBS averaging “15% of the budgets for some 1,300 public television and radio stations across the country.” (Boston.com). After the mudslinging ends (which has already resulted in the resignation of Public Radio’s CEO Vivian Schiller and president Ron Schiller), the decision will be made on whether funding will be cut.
If passed, these budget cuts will bring about negative effects for the public radio branch KSTX.
“There will be a need for major adjustment,” said Texas Public Radio’s Communications Specialist Albert Salazar, who works with KSTX San Antonio.
Although donations provide 50% of KSTX’s funding and grants like those of the Zachry Foundation give a lot of support, the station receives 10% from the government, a substantial amount to lose.
“[The loss in funding] will press us to pursue more options and remain ever more confident in the community. [There’s a strong possibility] that more disruptions in broadcast will happen. TPR [still] has the shortest pledge drives in the country, occurring during only 16 days of [each] month,” Salazar said.