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Report Says Pubcasters Would Struggle Without Federal Funding

FCC seeks comments on allowing noncoms to fundraise for nonprofits without needing a waiver

Many public radio and televisions would struggle to survive if Congress defunds public broadcasting.

That’s the conclusion of a report for CPB by Booz & Company, in which analysts say ending federal funding for public broadcasting would “severely diminish, if not destroy” pubcast service in the U.S.

Seventy-six public radio stations and 54 public TV stations “are at risk of no longer being able to sustain operations” if federal funding were eliminated, concludes the report.

After reviewing alternative funding scenarios, analysts concluded even allowing limited advertising on public stations would garner “net negative financial results” because there would be “significant losses of existing funding from traditional voluntary sources that would not choose to support a commercialized public broadcasting service.”

Congress had asked for the report, which comes as the FCC is asking for comments on allowing noncommercial stations to interrupt their fundraising to raise money for other nonprofits. A change would eliminate the need for stations to ask for a waiver to do this.

Comments to MB Docket 12-106 are due July 23 and replies by Aug. 21.

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