Proposed cuts to public radio could hurt local stations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Proposed cuts to public radio could hurt local stations


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Nationally, as the government grapples with the deficit, nothing is off the table, including funding for public broadcasting. At stake here in Iowa include large cuts to Iowa Public Television and nine public radio stations.

KBBG in Waterloo could see a cut of more than $120,000.

KBBG has been filling the air waves above Waterloo for 34 years and providing content directed at the African American community.

With massive cuts to public TV and radio passing in the House, CEO and President of KBBG, Lou Porter, is hoping this is as far as the cuts will go.

"You never get rich in public radio. There's always that need to search for funds from somewhere, whether it's federal funds, local funds, fund raisers, that kind of thing. I think it would cripple us in many areas especially in programming and development, acquisition or programming, training of youth in entry level broadcasting just to name a few," said Porter.

Porter also says the proposed cuts would be roughly a third of KBBG entire budget. She says that kind of cut would be devastating considering local fund drives have not been doing so well.

"The last radiothon we did, it's the lowest it has ever been in all 34 years we've been here. We've had our ups and downs and ups and downs and 6, 7, 8 were probably some of our best years, but even with the economic turndown people supported us as best they could," said Porter.

For those who do support public radio, Porter is asking them to speak out and call their representatives.

"We're hoping that KBBG will be here another 34 years for generations and generations to come, but we don't have a guarantee on that," said Porter.

KBBG is home to 30 locally-produced radio programs.

Currently Congress has been appropriating $450 million a year to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It then divides the money amongst all public stations.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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