Sesame Workshop responds to Trump's proposed cuts to national arts funding

Funding for PBS NPR in the crosshairs

Funding for PBS NPR in the crosshairs

Federal funding of arts programs, including money for public radio and television, has been the target of Republican administrations and congressional budget hawks for decades. "While Sesame Workshop now receives no direct funding from CPB or PBS, we stand firmly and passionately in support of the vital public investment that allows them to continue this important work", Sesame Workshop continued.

About half of the $445 million provided every year to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is distributed among 350 member stations to fund the operations of local PBS member stations.

Perhaps Harrison is wrong, and there would be enough support from the public to support the stations that CPB now helps fund. You might remember that funding for public broadcasting came up during the 2012 presidential campaign when Mitt Romney promised to cut off federal funding for CPB.

But members of Congress should do themselves a favor and listen to the voices of their constituents instead of cozying up to the administration and its ill-advised plan to silence NPR and PBS. But many of those rural stations will be shuttered.

The CPB in 2016 took $445 million, or 0.01 percent, of U.S. federal spending, and the National Endowment of the Arts received $146 million, or 0.004 percent, in 2015.

The station is set to spend $1.85 million in programming this current fiscal year, according to Hilary Silverboard, senior vice president for marketing and business strategy.

The loss of federal funds would mean layoffs, cutbacks and reduced educational/children's programming.

She then noted that the NEA as a federal government agency is prohibited from engaging "in advocacy, either directly or indirectly" but would "continue our practice of educating about the NEA's vital role in serving our nation's communities". All public media players, she says, ought to double down on efforts to court listener support and philanthropic giving as a hedge against the continued, and perhaps complete, reduction of government support. Public Broadcasting Atlanta, which focuses on metro Atlanta with 90.1/WABE and PBA 30, would also have to trim down 10 percent.

So, how much do you pay in federal taxes to public radio?

KCPW FM-88.3 received $78,968 from the CPB in 2016 - 3.4 percent of its budget.

Groups like the Free Press Action Fund and millions of people across the country will fight to save the CPB.

What would happen if VPR lost CPB funding?

NPR's news and talk programming, for example, receives funding from a wide variety of other sources, including foundations and individual donors. We need shows that promote learning for kids, and not trying to sell them fucking toys, goddammit.

GPB, with an annual budget of $34.5 million, is one of the largest public broadcasting operations nationwide. It will see its funding phased out if his budget makes it past the House and Senate. "With its near universal footprint, CPB provides virtually all Americans with access to this educational content and top-caliber local, regional, and national news". On the flip-side, stations in poorer rural areas that depend on federal funding for a higher percentage of their annual budget would be more significantly affected.

Though PBS and NPR likely wouldn't be too damaged from the CPB cut on a national level (they also have patrons, pledge drives, etc.), local networks and stations - in small, pro-Trump towns - would greatly suffer.

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.

Where can I learn more?

A strong, diverse base of grassroots advocates is essential to ensuring the retention of federal funding.

Latest News