Advisory panel advocates FCC backing for CPB


FCCThe FCC Consumer Advisory Committee has looked at public broadcasting and found it good. And it likes the fact that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting helps provide the financial underpinnings for noncom stations. It is therefore advocating that the FCC support CPB as best it can.

CAC noted that the programming CPB supports is both free and of high-quality. It includes “local, national and international news, public affairs programming, diversity of opinion, public safety alerts, and children’s programming and a wide array of cultural content.”

It noted that loss of funding would damage the ability of CPB to keep the service in good enough financial shape to continue to provide high-quality content. CAC added, “Such impacts would be of nationwide scope, and particularly acute in rural, tribal, native, and disability communities.”

It concluded, “THEREFORE, the Consumer Advisory Committee recommends that the Federal Communications Commission, in its interaction with the Administration and with the Congress, support continued federal funding of CPB so as to enable CPB to continue its support for public broadcast stations, including those providing service to rural, tribal, native, and disability communities.”

The measure, just released by the FCC, was said to have been adopted 11/4/11.

RBR-TVBR observation: The CAC has one thing right – about the only thing the FCC can do is what CAC did – voice support for CPB. It’s sort of like an advisory committee recommending that the FDA come out in support of broccoli. Very nice, but ultimately little more than an empty gesture.

Don’t get us wrong – we have nothing against public broadcasting. We tune into it from time to time, and we hope that it enjoys robust health for the foreseeable future.

But the FCC is not the venue to make the case for CPB. It issues noncommercial station licenses, but other than that, its oversight is in the minimal-to-nonexistent range.

If CAC wishes to give CPB a boost, it needs to find a way to get it away from the appropriations erasers of legislators who perennially see public broadcasting as an area where budget cutting can take place. Oh, and it will also have to find a way to placate many of the same legislators who believe that the programming CPB enables is slanted in favor of their opponents.