will the 2019 federal budget process affect radio-related organizations like
CPB, NPR, the FCC and the BBG?
The Corporation for Public
Broadcasting would be particularly hit hard by President Trump’s proposed budget.
The recommended appropriation would rescind all but $15 million in FY2019 and
FY2020 for the entity that supports non-commercial public media; its current budget is $445 million. The president previously
recommended phasing out all funding for CPB; his new budget request is another
step in that direction, observers say.
The president last
year proposed to defund CPB but was rebuffed by public media supporters that
include members of both parties. A House Labor Subcommittee last summer recommended
that CPB receive level funding of about $445 million annually through 2020. But
CPB appears to be braced for the battle for its existence
and says it will continue to work with Congress and the administration to tout
the value of public television and radio stations.
there is no viable substitute for federal funding that would ensure this valued
service continues, the elimination of federal funding to CPB would at first
devastate, and then ultimately destroy public media’s ability to provide
early childhood content, life-saving emergency alerts, and local journalism,”
said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB in a statement.
Among other things CPB funds National Public Radio and
helps support the operations nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public
television and radio stations in this country.
Meanwhile, the Federal
Communications Commission is handing in a formal budget request of $333,118,000
for FY2019, spending that is offset by regulatory fees it collects. This would
be a cut of about 6% from its actual 2018 budget. The commission under Chairman
Ajit Pai is keeping staffing levels consistent year over year with a compliment
of 1,448 full-time employees. The FCC is requesting about $113 million for
spending on spectrum auctions.
The commission sets out four
strategic goals in its FY2019 budget request beginning with efforts to
encourage the private sector to build out next-generation networks, promote
innovation that promotes a competitive marketplace, consumer protection and
further reform for modernize FCC processes. It also hopes to clear a backlog of
8,000 pending radio and television applications and implement Blue Alerts as
the newest code for the Emergency Alert System.
president’s budget request for FY2019, sent to Congress on Monday, also
includes $661.1 million for the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The BBG oversees
the Voice of America, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting and BBG-funded grantees
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and Middle Eastern Broadcasting
BBG CEO Outlines Efforts to Confront Russian Disinformation Abroad, Sept. 2017]
latest BBG budget request represents a $24 million reduction from its FY2018 request.
It includes program and operation reductions at the agency’s Offices of
Technology, Services and Innovation; Cuba Broadcasting; and Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty, according to a press release.
The funding request “includes enhancing
reporting on violent extremism, premiering additional fact-based alternatives
to Russian propaganda, and increasing content and distribution options to China
and Iran,” said John Lansing, CEO and director of BBG.