State funding for public radio will drop by 50% in the coming fiscal year. The General Assembly reported that it had restored 90% of funding for public broadcasting, but that figure is misleading.
I'll try to make this brief but clear...
The Assembly restored all of the money, more than $1 million, that Governor McDonnell had proposed cutting from the Instructional Television Service (ITS) grants to public television stations. Then the Assembly added almost $550,000 more to those grants. The grants are used to produce and distribute instructional programming and materials to schools, not for broadcast programming.
The Governor also proposed cutting 50% of the Community Service Grants (CSG) that public radio and television stations use for broadcast programming. Although the Senate countered with a smaller, 20% cut, the House-Senate conference committee finally settled on the 50% figure.
Because the ITS grants increased so much, the Assembly was able to say that the overall cut to public broadcasting was only 10%.
However, for WMRA, we still get hit with a 50% reduction - about $43,000.
Additionally, we are losing $10,000 that originally was budgeted for us to air messages supporting the Virginia tourism. So our total reduction in state funding this July will be $53,000. We expect that the remaining $43,000 will be gone in July, 2012.