Protect Your Public Media

Protect Your Public Media

Act now to preserve your programs!

The just-released Trump Administration Budget proposal calls for the defunding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

A strong, diverse base of grassroots advocates is essential to ensuring the retention of federal funding. To that end, WXXI is a proud partner in Protect My Public Media, a collaboration of local public radio and TV stations, program producers and distributors, listeners and viewers who support a strong public media in the United States. You can help by resolving to keep WXXI and public media stations across the country strong in 2017. Please visit Protect My Media's web site, where you can share why public media is important to you. Submitted testimonials will be used as a resource when meeting with policy makers in the coming months.

And, we encourage you to share your feelings about public broadcasting with your congressional representative.

What we know:

  • The White House budget office has drafted a list of nine programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending — including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (The New York Times).
  • Funding for the current fiscal year, FY2017, has been distributed to the CPB, and first payments have been made to stations, including WXXI.
  • The appropriation for the CPB is approved two years in advance, which is designed to provide a buffer between funding and changes in the political climate. Therefore, funding has been secured for FY2018 and FY2019, but has not yet been distributed. Technically, these appropriations could be rescinded, but it would take an act of Congress to make that happen.
  • Annual funding for the CPB has been level at $445 million for several years. That amounts to about $1.36 per American per year or 1/100 of 1 % of the federal budget.

FAQ on WXXI and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB):

How much CPB funding does WXXI receive? This year, approximately 12% of WXXI’s budgeted revenue will come from the CPB, about $1.6 million.

What would happen if WXXI lost CPB funding? At WXXI, we feel it’s important to receive funding from many diverse sources, including individuals, local businesses, foundations, New York State, and the CPB. Losing CPB funds could have a significant effect on our ability to serve the community with local news, documentaries, education services and music programming.

What is CPB’s role in public broadcasting? The CPB is distinct from both NPR and PBS. It is not a broadcaster, but a private corporation created by Congress in 1967 with two primary functions: to serve as a firewall between partisan politics and public broadcasting, and to help fund programming, stations and technology.

Why does public broadcasting need federal funding? Federal funding is essential to the funding mix that supports public broadcasting. CPB funding provides critical seed money and basic operating support to local stations, which then leverage each $1 of federal funding to raise over $6 from local sources — a tremendous return on the taxpayer investment.

Federal funding provides essential support for public broadcasting’s mission to ensure universal access to high-quality, non-commercial programming that educates, informs, enlightens and enriches the public, with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children and people of color.

In many rural areas, public broadcasting is the only source of free local, national and international news, public affairs and cultural programming – and with such small populations they often rely more heavily on federal funding. Without it, these stations would likely be unable to continue to provide local communities with news, information, cultural and educational programming that they currently provide, and could even go off the air altogether.

In addition, the CPB helps negotiate music rights for all public stations and provides administrative support, allowing stations to aggregate together for cost-effective sharing of information, research and services.