Friday, February 18, 2011
Gov. Haley Barbour has proposed to end all state funding for Mississippi Public Broadcasting by 2016.
In a statement yesterday, Barbour asked MPB officials to create a long-term sustainable funding plan that "relies less on taxpayer dollars and instead effectively utilizes advertising, sponsorships and production revenue."
Barbour also asked MPB to vote on forming a plan during its March 8 board meeting.
Earlier this year, Rep. Rita Martinson, R-Madison, introduced House Bill 742 that would have required the Legislature to phase out all state appropriations to MPB by 2017. The bill died in the House Education Committee.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting Acting Executive Director Jay Woods told the Jackson Free Press last month that if the bill passed it would hinder the state's educational and economic growth because the station could not support itself on private and federal funds alone. Woods said MPB spends 90 percent of its state allocations on salaries. Federal grants and membership drives help pay for national programming and local productions.
Barbour's recommended 2012 budget calls for a 20 percent reduction in state funding to MPB. The Legislature, however, calls for an 8 percent cut for MPB, or $605,214 for fiscal year 2012. For this current fiscal year, the Legislature appropriated $7.55 million for MPB.
U.S. House Republicans have also proposed to eliminate all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the House is expected to vote on the proposal today.
Mississippi Authority for Television Chairman Bob Sawyer, however, had an optimistic response to Barbour's proposal.
"We are committed to doing everything in our power to become less dependent on state funding," Sawyer said in a statement yesterday. "The Mississippi Authority for Educational Television Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Public Broadcasting will work together to develop a plan to raise more private funding."
Also see: "Bill Proposes to End MPB Funding"
90% goes to salaries? More feeding at the government troff. Being finacially self-sustaining is a bad thing? And 5 years to get there as well.
- interested observer
Woods said MPB spends 90 percent of its state allocations on salaries. Federal grants and membership drives help pay for national programming and local productions. Read much? 90% of the STATE ALLOCATIONS go to salaries. Since when is being paid a salary *feeding* at the government *trough*? It seems to me that salaries are generally paid in exchange for work. I'm not making claims about the work ethic over at MPB, because I don't spend much time there. But the folks I've met there seem to get their jobs done... some with alacrity and skill. I even seem to recall the Guv giving them some props in the past for emergency coverage of hurricanes and other weather events...
- Todd Stauffer
Interested- If you look at MPB website they have there annual report posted, salaries make up 49% of their expense, almost $7 million dollars, don't know how many employess they have so I got no idea if that is high or low. Nothing wrong with them be finacially self-sustaining, but then there nothing wrong with them be state funded either.
"Read much? " Such a professional way to point out the initial commenter's error from a staff member. C'mon, we're all better than having to make an asinine comment demeaning a reader over that, regardless of his choice of "trough" or his thoughts on MPB. Carry on.
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