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BBG Seeks 2.5% Budget Increase

Also lays out cuts including no more VOA to Croatia

The Broadcasting Board of Governors hopes for a budget increase of 2.5% in the next fiscal year.

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It said President Obama’s proposed budget to Congress includes $767 million for the BBG. The increase of 2.5% is compared to the level approved under the 2011 continuing resolution.

“The proposed funding reflects the importance of ongoing U.S. international broadcasting to critical audiences as well as technical infrastructure to support modern multimedia operations,” the organization stated. The budget funds operations of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Martí, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa).

In addition to ongoing programming, BBG said, the money would be used to enhance its satellite transmission infrastructure, start a global news-sharing network, roll out new media technologies, ensure broadcast disaster recovery capabilities and expand efforts to move VOA to an all-digital broadcast platform.

The request also proposes cuts including restructuring of broadcasting to China “by realigning resources to implement a cost-effective and market-specific strategy”; doing away with VOA broadcasts to Croatia; optimizing BBG’s transmission network; and “finding efficiencies within current operations.”

Chairman Walter Isaacson said the board “is continuing to modernize across a range of communications platforms to be effective in the 21st century media environment.”