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Statement of Opposition to the Proposed PBS Increases
in the NPS Assessment and the MSA, Fiscal Year 2005

Ninety-five public TV stations signed and presented this petition to the PBS Board before its meeting June 21-22, 2004. NPS means National Program Service. MSA means Member Services Assessment. The board responded by adopting a resolution.

We, the undersigned CEOs and board chairs of public television member stations and state networks, members in good standing of the Public Broadcasting Service, wish to express to the PBS board our strong opposition to the proposed increase in the NPS assessment and the MSA.

Over the past several years, costs for PBS programming have increased substantially for each of our stations. For FY2005 PBS has proposed an additional 7.5 percent increase for the NPS assessment and a 5 percent increase in the MSA as part of a proposal over the next three years to increase NPS assessments by a total of 20 percent.

The consequences of NPS and MSA increases of this magnitude in FY2005 would be devastating for the public television system. The harsh reality is that viewership for PBS programs has declined significantly in recent years, resulting in declining underwriting and membership. Moreover, other traditional revenue sources are also being eroded, including tax support from local and state governments. All of these have been the economic bedrock of our system. Some of this downturn can be explained by external factors, such as increasing competition and a struggling economy. However, internally the reality is a declining return on the NPS investments for stations.

In this time of economic turbulence, stations have also had to face the Herculean challenge of converting to a digital transmission system. The cost of this unfunded mandate has already been staggering, and most stations are struggling to raise the resources to use their digital assets.

Increases in costs significantly above the inflation rate at a time of declining revenues will force many stations to make serious reductions in local services—a profound disservice to the American public who cherish their local public television stations and the variety of services they provide. Enhancing the value and performance of national PBS programming at current station investment levels is critical and must be the overriding priority for the PBS board and management. Therefore, we are opposed to any dues increases this year.

We call your attention to the PBS Mission statement, which says in part, “The Public Broadcasting Service exists to serve its Members, the nation’s public television stations….”

As members of PBS, and on behalf of the viewers and the members of the stations we represent, we urge the PBS Board of Directors in the strongest possible terms to vote against both the 7.5 percent increase in the NPS assessment, the 5 percent increase in the MSA, and the 20 percent NPS increase over three years.

Julie Andersen
Executive Director
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

James Baum
President and Chief Executive Officer
KETC-TV
St. Louis, MO

Jude Andrews
General Manager
KSMQ Public Television
Austin, MN

Rick Best
President and General Manager
WQPT-TV
Moline, IL

Marie Antoon
Executive Director
Mississippi Public Broadcasting

Donald K. Boswell
President and Chief Executive Officer
WNED-TV
Buffalo, NY

Barry G. Baker
General Manager
WDCQ-TV
University Center, MI

Maurice “Moss” Bresnahan
President and Chief Executive Officer
South Carolina ETV

Jerry Barnaby
Director, Public Broadcasting and
Educational Television Services
WKYU-TV
Bowling Green, KY

Malcolm Brett
General Manager
WHA-TV
Madison, WI

Steven M. Bass
President and Chief Executive Officer
Nashville Public Television

Ellis Bromberg
General Manager
Milwaukee Public Television
WMVS/WMVT/MPTV-Digital/
MPTV-HD

Owen G. “Bob” Shell, Jr.
Chair, Board of Directors
Nashville Public Television

Mark Maierle
Chair, Milwaukee Area Technical College District Board
Milwaukee Public Television

Craig A. Brush
President and General Manager
KCOS-TV
El Paso, TX

Andrew Nolan
Chair, Board of Trustees
KPTS-TV
Wichita, KS

Robbie Paul
Chair, Board of Trustees
KCOS-TV
El Paso, TX

Alice J. Cheney
General Manager
WIPB-TV
Muncie, IN

Carl Caldwell
Station Manager
WILL-TV
Urbana, IL

Larry Ciecalone
General Manager
KVCR-TV
San Bernardino, CA

Jerry Carr
President and Chief Executive Officer
WXEL-TV
Boynton Beach, FL

Trina Cutter
President and General Manager
PBS 45 & 49, WNEO-TV
Kent, OH

Glen T. Cerny
President and General Manager
Pioneer Public Television
Appleton, MN

David L. Dial
President and General Manager
WNIN
Evansville, IN

Craig Wilkening
Chair, Board of Directors
Pioneer Public Television
Appleton, MN

Dr. Ray Hoops
Chair, Board of Directors, WNIN
President, University of Southern Indiana

Don Checots
President and General Manager
KPTS-TV
Wichita, KS

Arlen Diamond
General Manager
Ozarks Public Television
Springfield, MO

Don Dunlap
President and General Manager
KEDT-TV
Corpus Christi, TX

William Sturtevant
Chair, Board of Governors
New Hampshire Public Television

Debbie L. Emond
Executive Director and General Manager
KBTC/KCKA Public Television
Tacoma, WA

Ted A. Garcia
General Manager and
Chief Executive Officer
KNME-TV
Albuquerque, NM

Gary Ferrell
President and Chief Executive Officer
KERA-TV
Dallas, TX

Dr. Kenneth Garry
President and General Manager
WCTE
Cookeville, TN

Benny Flores
Operations Manager
KGTF
Barrigada, Guam

Edward Grant
General Manager
CMU Public Broadcasting
Mt. Pleasant, MI

Donovan Brooks
Acting Board Chair
KGTF
Barrigada, Guam

James Fabiano, Sr.
Chair, Board of Trustees
CMU Public Broadcasting
Mt. Pleasant, MI

David M. Fogarty
President and General Manager
WPTD-TV
Dayton, OH

Dr. Jerold Gruebel
President and General Manager
Network Knowledge
WSEC/WQEC/WMEC
Springfield, IL

Peter A. Frid
Chief Executive Officer and
General Manager
New Hampshire Public Television

Robert Weirather
Chair of the Board
Network Knowledge WSEC/WQEC/WMEC
Springfield, IL

DeAnne Hamilton
General Manager
WKAR Television
East Lansing, MI

Victor A. Hogstrom
President and Chief Executive Officer
WTCI-TV/DT
Chattanooga, TN

Thomas F. Hanley
President and General Manager
WPBS/WNPI TV
Watertown, NY

Lawrence Holden
General Manager and
Chief Executive Officer
Smoky Hills Public Television
Bunker Hill, KS

Gregory Gardner
Chair of the Board
WPBS/WNPI TV
Watertown, NY

John Divine
Chair, Board of Directors
Smoky Hills Public Television
Bunker Hill, KS

Allen Harmon
President and General Manager
WDSE-TV, WDSE-DT
Duluth, MN

Tom Howe
Director and General Manager
UNC-TV, NC

Robert Mitchell
Chair of the Board
Duluth-Superior Area Educational
Television Corp.
Duluth, MN

Ashley O. Thrift, Esq.
Chair, Board of Trustees
UNC-TV, NC

John Hesse
General Manager
HoustonPBS/KUHT

Jack Hyyppa
Station Manager
MontanaPBS

David Hinman
General Manager
WLJT-TV
Martin, TN

Candis Isberner
Executive Director
WSIU Public Broadcasting
Carbondale, IL

Susie Phillips
President
WSIU Friends Board
Carbondale, IL
Michael J. LaBonia
President and Chief Executive Officer
WKNO-TV
Memphis, TN
A. William Kelly
President and Chief Executive Officer
WVIA TV/HDTV
Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA
Richard A. Lehner
General Manager
WUFT-TV
Gainesville, FL

Marlon P. Kiser
President and General Manager
WGTE Public Broadcasting
Toledo, OH

William J. Marrazzo
President and Chief Executive Officer
WHYY
Philadelphia, PA

Ted Krichels
General Manager
WPSX-TV
University Park, PA

Molly Dickinson Shepard
Chair, Board of Directors
WHYY
Philadelphia, PA

Kliff Kuehl
President and Chief Executive Officer
KWBU TV
Waco, TX

John B. McCarroll
Executive Director
OETA, The Oklahoma Network

Larry Brumley
Chair, Board of Directors
KWBU TV
Waco, TX

George L. Miles, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer
WQED Multimedia
Pittsburgh, PA

John LaBonia
General Manager
WLRN-TV
Miami, FL

Dwight Miller
President and General Manager
WQLN-TV
Erie, PA

Maria Moore
General Manager
WYCC-TV
Chicago, IL

Donald W. Peterson
Director of Broadcasting Services and
General Manager
KMOS-TV
Warrensburg, MO
Peter W. Morrill
General Manager
Idaho Public Television
Greg Petrowich
General Manager and
Chief Executive Officer
AlaskaOne TV
Fairbanks, AK
Douglas L. Myrland
General Manager
KPBS-TV
San Diego, CA

David W. Piccerelli
Acting President and
Chief Executive Officer
WSBE
Providence, RI

Jack K. Neal
President and General Manager
Blue Ridge Public Television
Roanoke, VA

Sheldon S. Sollosy
Chair, Board of Directors
Rhode Island Public Telecommunications
Authority

Ed Whitmore
Chair, Board of Directors
Blue Ridge Public Television
Roanoke, VA

Allan A. Pizzato
Executive Director
Alabama Public Television

Jack Parris
Director and General Manager
KUAT Communications Group
Tucson, AZ

Dr. John Mosley
Chair, Alabama Educational Television
Commission
Alabama Public Television

Kathleen A. Pavelko
President
WITF, Inc.
Harrisburg, PA

William T. Reed
President and Chief Executive Officer
KCPT
Kansas City, MO

Carolyn Watley
Chair of the Board
KCPT-TV
Kansas City, MO

Scott Shirai
Chair, Board of Directors
KBDI-TV, Colorado Public Television

John Reim
General Manager
KBYU Television
Provo, UT

Max Rudolph
General Manager
KNCT
Killeen, TX

Al Rerko
General Manager
WVUT-TV
Vincennes, IN

Duane W. Ryan
Director of Broadcasting
KENW-TV
Portales, NM

Donovan Reynolds
General Manager
University of Michigan Public Television

Ronald K. Salak
General Manager
KRWG-TV/DT
Las Cruces, NM

Roger Rhodes
President and General Manager
WFWA-TV
Fort Wayne, IN

William Sanford
General Manager
Lakeland Public Television
Bemidji, MN

Thomas M. Rieland
General Manager
WOSU
Columbus, OH

Rebecca Anderson
President of the Board
Lakeland Public Television
Bemidji, MN

Willard “Wick” D. Rowland, Jr.
President and General Manager
KBDI-TV, Colorado Public Television

Dan Schiedel
General Manager
Wyoming Public Television Network

Bert Schmidt
President and General Manager
WVPT
Harrisonburg, VA

Sandra Session-Robertson
General Manager
WCEU-TV
Daytona Beach, FL

Jeff Lenhart
Chair, Board of Directors
WVPT
Harrisonburg, VA

Robert J. Shuman
President and Chief Executive Officer
Maryland Public Television

Daniel J. Schmidt
President and Chief Executive Officer
WTTW, Network Chicago

Thomas F. Brady
Chair, Maryland Public Broadcasting
Commission

Sandra P. Guthman
Chair, Board of Trustees
WTTW, Network Chicago

Patricia Simon
President and Chief Executive Officer
WLVT
Bethlehem, PA

Ronald L. Schoenherr
Executive Director
KEET-TV Empire Public Television
Eureka, CA

Joseph Leeson, Jr.
Chair, Lehigh Valley Public
Telecommunications Corporation
WLVT
Bethlehem, PA

Dee Daneri
Chair, Board of Directors
KEET-TV Empire Public Television
Eureka, CA

Nancy Southgate
Interim General Manager and Program
Director
WPBA
Atlanta, GA

Scott K. Seaman
General Manager
WNMU-TV
Marquette, MI

Mark Stanislawski
President and Chief Executive Officer
Southern Oregon Public Television

Stephen McKenney Steck
President and Chief Executive Officer
WMFE-TV
Orlando, FL

Chet Tomczyk
President and Chief Executive Officer
WTVP-TV
Peoria, IL

Dr. Charles W. Sydnor, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Community Idea Stations, WCVE
Richmond, VA

Henry Allovio, Jr.
Chair
Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications
Corp.

Richard J. Bodorff
Chair, Board of Directors
Commonwealth Public Broadcasting
Corp.
Richmond, VA

JoAnn Urofsky
General Manager
WUSF Public Broadcasting
Tampa, FL

Jim Tindell
General Manager
East Tennessee Public
Telecommunications Corp.
Knoxville, TN

Malcolm Wall
Executive Director
Kentucky Educational Television Network

Dr. Russell Ramsay
Chair of the Board
East Tennessee Public
Telecommunications Corporation
Knoxville, TN

John Domaschko
Chair of the Board
Kentucky Educational Television Network

Myron A. Tisdel
President and General Manager
KIXE
Redding, CA

Allen Weatherly
Executive Director
Arkansas Educational Television Network

Jacob Nehr
Chair, Board of Directors
Northern California Educational
Television Association, Inc.
Redding, CA

Joseph Widoff
President and General Manager
WHRO-TV
Norfolk, VA

Anita Poston
Chair, Board of Directors
WHRO-TV
Norfolk, VA

Wendy Wink
Executive Director
Wisconsin Educational Communications
Board

Rodney L. Zent, Ph.D.
Director, Educational Broadcast Services
KAMU-TV
College Station, TX



Public Broadcasting PolicyBase
A service of Current Publishing Committee and the National Public Broadcasting Archives
Posted June 22, 2004
E-mail: webatcurrent.org