CPB’s funding request for fiscal 2008 for digital radio conversion and the Public Radio Satellite System has passed the first of several congressional hurdles.
A House Appropriations subcommittee last week approved by voice vote digital transition funding of $29.7 million for radio and television for FY ‘08. NPR’s Mike Riksen tells me the digital transition funding is vital because, now that the FCC has approved IBOC, multicasting “can be treated as just a normal part of a station’s digital environment.” Some 60 to 70 public radio stations are multicasting and NPR expects that figure to increase, he said.
The subcommittee also approved PRSS funding of $26.75 million for 2008; this includes renewal of long-term satellite contracts.
Lawmakers also approved a CPB appropriation of $420 million for fiscal year 2010, a 5% increase over 2009.
The funding bill next goes to the full committee for a vote and then to the House floor.