CPB’s pared-back FY13 business plan reflects loss of digital funds

By Dru Sefton

CPB’s business plan and operating budget for 2013, approved by the board at its September meeting, are now available online. The business plan assumes that CPB will be federally funded at the current level of $445 million. It also notes that the system is still struggling financially. “While we are seeing some reports of modest improvement in membership fundraising,” the plan notes, “the $250 million in state support that has been lost across the system over the last few years has not been restored. On the contrary, proposals at the state level to defund or reduce public broadcasting continue.”

The plan contains fewer projects than in previous years, reflecting the loss of CPB’s digital funds. Congress eliminated the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program and most of CPB’s digital appropriation during budget negotiations in April 2011. Those cuts cost the system $20 million in matching funds for broadcast equipment upgrades, and $30 million for digital projects, and has created capital challenges for stations systemwide.

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