Senate Plan Eliminates Public Broadcasting Funds

Mar 15, 2017

The public is invited to give comments on the latest proposed senate budget which completely eliminates funding for public broadcasting at 1:30 P.M. Friday, March 17 at the Legislative Information Office near Watson's Corner in Bethel.
Credit Dean Swope / KYUK

Zero state funds would go towards public broadcasting under the budget proposed by the state senate.

KYUK General Manager Shane Iverson says that such a cut would eliminate all the programs and services that residents of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta have relied on for decades.

"So things like ARCS television, that would be eliminated. As far as radio, Talk of Alaska, Alaska News Nightly, Alaska Morning News, 360 North... I mean, these are some trademarks of what public broadcasting is in Alaska. This proposed budget would eliminate them."

KYUK has sources of funding other than the state, but it is state funding, says Iverson, which is essential to keeping the station on the air. He says that this cut would mean severe changes on what the station would be able to provide to listeners.

"Any further cuts are going to affect our direct services, I'm afraid. There's just not a whole lot left to cut away at. We're already at the bone."

The Senate Finance committee will hold public testimony on its budget Friday, March 17. People from the region can participate by coming to the Legislative Information Office at Watson's Corner in Bethel at 1:30 p.m. when the floor will be open for comments.

Correction, Wednesday March 15, 2017: 

The Senate  Finance committee moved the public testimony originally scheduled for this afternoon to Friday at 1:30. People from the Bethel area can participate by coming to the Legislative Information Office at Watson's Corner on Friday at 1:30 when the floor will be open to comments from people in this region.