Trump Plans “Devastating” Financial Cuts for Public Broadcasting…

CPB to Trump: Yours Cuts Will Cause "Devastating Effect" To Public Radio
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CPB to Trump: Yours Cuts Will Cause "Devastating Effect" To Public Radio
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Image by USAG-Humpreys (CC by 2.0)

Will we see the end of Big Bird and the Cookie Monster?

Prior to Donald Trump entering the White House, his transition team expressed plans to privatize the Corporation of Public Broadcasting.  The non-profit organization corporation receives $445 million a year.  Those funds are then distributed to local stations, which helps to maintain U.S. public media infrastructure.

In regards to radio, NPR network stations pay for centralized program syndication rights.  Now, as Trump move forwards with his team’s plans to privatize the CPB, many local radio stations are worried.

The CPB released a statement in regards to possible spending cuts by the Trump administration. Media Matters, who posted CPB’s statement, said Trump’s proposal would have a “devastating effect.”   The statement says,

This thinking and proposals like the one being reported in the mainstream media and elsewhere today have been circulating around Washington for years and have been soundly rejected on a bipartisan basis.

Media Matters explained the history of public broadcasting proposals in US politics over the past several years.

The George W. Bush administration tried to use its authority to swing public programming to the right.  Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Bush’s appointee to chair CPB, used federal funds to examine alleged liberal bias on the PBS program NOW, formerly hosted by Bill Moyers.  He also helped raise $5 million to produce a PBS show hosted by The Wall Street Journal’s right-wing editorial board.”

In addition, Media Matters explained Republicans’ plans under the Obama administration to cut funding.

“But under Obama, congressional Republicans pushed to eliminate funding for public broadcasting altogether.  They found a ready cheering section from right-wing media, which frequently lashed out at “liberal” PBS and NPR.  Critics typically say that public media should be able to easily make up the loss of the federal dollars.”

Defending their right to exist with funding, the CPB explained in a statement that the proposals would greatly hamper local stations’ ability to serve rural audiences.

“From time to time, some argue the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and funding for public media are no longer needed.  This thinking and proposals like the one being reported in the mainstream media…have been circulating around Washington for years and have been soundly rejected on a bipartisan basis…Further, a national survey of 2,000 self-identified Trump voters confirmed that a majority of those voters support level or increased federal funding for public broadcasting.

“The federal investment in public media is vital seed money…especially for stations located in rural America, and those serving underserved populations where the appropriation counts for 40-50% of their budget.  The loss of this seed money would have a devastating effect.”

Despite the opposition, the Trump administration outlined their plan ahead of last Friday’s inauguration. The Hill reported,

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized… the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.”

By authorizing these cuts, Trump would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over the next 10 years.  However, global strategy consulting firm Booz & Company released a report in 2012 outlining the immediate effect of removing public funding from the CPB.

“This report concludes that there is no substitute for federal support of public broadcasting…[and] would mean:

  • the end of public broadcasting…
  • the end of an extraordinarily useful national teaching tool…
  • the loss of the most trusted source of news and public affairs programs in the nation…
  • erosion of our national memory and exceptional culture…
  • compromise of our civil defense and emergency alert system…
  • the demise of a federal investment that the American people consider a better use of tax dollars than any other except national defense.

These are the inevitable consequences of a loss of federal funding for public broadcasting…

15 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek


    Let’s convert Radio and TV …and streamers to discovery based MUSIC STORES!


    $200B music business is in the GRAVE READY FOR RESURRECTION on hold by
    WIMPONERDS at labels and Google!

  2. Tom

    NPR has been a bully to Low Power community radio across the USA for decades. NPR’s hogging of bandwidth on the left side of the dial and filing lawsuits against community stations over bogus claims of signal bleed have made me a NPR hater.

    That, and my state “consolidated” all the local public radio stations. The state NPR conglomerate kicked out longtime hosts of decent shows and replaced them with syndicated content. They eliminated community music. They destroyed community opinion shows.

    I hope Trump and the Republicans de-fund NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It’s not 1970 anymore. Give the real “little guy” a chance. Now is the time for Low Power Community Radio really gets a chance at the FCC. It certainly didn’t have any fans under Obama or Bush 43.

  3. Let's Make Radio Great Again

    America is terrible for independent low power radio broadcasters..

    Low Power FM has been hit with so many technical and non-technical
    hurdles.. such as co-channel separation distance between other stations,
    restrictions to the type of stations permitted (educational, religious,
    road reports etc..).

    Individuals and small groups (that are not part of religious/education or local government) are excluded from being able to operate a licensed FM station.


    However, Shortwave is available.. 50 KW is the minimum power and you must show that you have the financial means to construct and operate a Shortwave station.. Usually this requires a minimum investment of around a million dollars to cover transmission facilities, suitable land for antenna installations, antenna masts,
    transmitting apparatus, studios and other associated elements required in a radio station.


    First of all government spending is only about 25% of NPR budget… so they just have to prioritize. Secondly I personally would like to see the government get out of ALL art subsidies… most grants are given by and to people “inside” the right political spectrum… it’s incestuous, and unfair. You wanna be an artist? You can’t make money from your craft? Get a job like everyone else or don’t eat… instead of coming up with some politically correct “ART” initiative that no – one wants to look at or listen to.

    • Rick Shaw

      Where did you do your research to come up with those opinions? #alternativefacts

      • Eric

        Opinions rarely are derived from research, although in this case I completely agree.

  5. WineCyclist

    What does this story have to do with the “music industry”. Paul is scraping the barrel to keep DMN semi-relevant. Many of the news stories are Paul’s way of proselytizing for his views. No problem with that. It’s just not news; it’s commentary. How about changing the blog to “ATN” – Against Trump News…

    • deepfreeze

      Aw come on WineC yclist, surely you know npr’s involvement with music?…….hmmm.

  6. Mrs. Conclusion

    Big Bird and Cookie Monster will be fine — they’re on HBO now. Which demonstrates that most relevant, educational and alternative programming can find a home outside of taxpayer-funded broadcast platforms.

  7. Liberal Ed

    Thank God someone is taking action to mitigate Public Broadcasting’s relentless
    Globalist – Socialist – Far Left agenda. It is long overdue! Tired of my tax money going to people dedicated to undermining the USA and our constitution.

  8. Let's Make Shortwave Great Again

    I agree with some of the sentiments posted here..
    But the US broadcast radio licensing regulations are dreadful and
    very anti competitive and shuts-out individuals and small groups from gaining access to the FM and AM broadcast bands.


    Some States are more accommodating than others.. (from a legal
    consequence perspective).. Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands.. However, the FCC take a very serious view on no-license stations on the FM band..

    SHORTWAVE has a real buzz happening in the 6 and 7 mHz bands, tune in for some late night activity..

  9. Dale

    Great! It’s about time that America has a President who is a man of his word! President Trump is doing what he promised he will do! God Bless him and America. Keep it up!

  10. Hal

    This write is clearly bent to the left, it even had a George Soros ($ started) Media Matters viewpoint. I saw nothing from an opposing view. Yes, the write is clearly LW bent.
    CPB has drifted far from the original intent of it’s creation. Instead of positioning itself for the “public”, it’s a LW mouthpiece that caters to it’s Progressive base. Even Big Bird and company injects that ideology into children.
    What they do is their biz, though not on the public treasury’s dime. How would democrats react if it had taken a different course, and projected Conservative values? You can bet the farm it would have been defunded long ago.
    CPB can generate revenue from advertisements, just like everybody else. I wager rich Progressives would step in, there are a lot of them. Government is supposed to represent We the People, not the Progressive ideology. #DefundPBS

  11. Denise

    I am with them ending their funding for PBS. The majority of their stuff is left leaning, and frankly why should my tax dollars go for this. There is so many television programs out there for children, they will not miss it. I can think of many other place that almost half a billion dollars would be much better used for.