Proposed federal budget cuts to public broadcasting

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The President of the PBS station in Chattanooga says they would be forced to close if the proposed cuts to federal funding for Public Broadcasting went through.

Behind the scenes at WTCI, the PBS station in Chattanooga, you’ll quickly discover it’s more than just Sesame Street. They engage students by going into the classroom.

“We’ve got our people ingrained in the educational community providing services that really go far beyond just the television screen,” said Paul Grove, President and CEO of WTCI.

Half of WTCI’s funding comes from the public.

“This community really has a bunch of great non-profits and we like to tell the stories of non-profits. Therefore everyone that we support, they like to support us as well, so it is something that is very important to us,” Grove said.

They do rely on federal funding, but President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts.

“For WTCI we are a very small hardworking station with only about 20 employees and it is a door closer for us if we don’t receive those federal funds. But the most important thing is we know that when this has happened before, we’ve had people that have come to our support. And when they have a chance to give us the support it really means a lot,” Grove said.

One way to help is to contact your representatives.

“As a matter of fact I spoke to the people at Bob Corker’s office and they said. We want to hear the people and what they think that has happened in this budget because ultimately they are going to make the decision,” Grove said.

For now they concentrate on what they know best.

“We tell the stories of the community and it is really important those positive stories continue to inspire people,” Grove said.

A national survey done by Rasmussen Reports showed 21 percent of Americans were in favor of ending public broadcasting support.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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