Public radio and television programming faces serious disruption unless Congress finds money to pay for a new satellite to replace one that will fail in 1991, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting said today.
CPB officials, who are also seeking full funding of their fiscal 1992 budget authorization of $265 million, urged a Senate panel to provide an additional $143.19 million to complete federal funding to replace a satellite that handles the public broadcasting satellite interconnection system.
CPB President Donald Ledwig said failure to receive the satellite money would “force the public broadcasting system to divert scarce resources away from programming and into satellite replacement.” He said that would “seriously disrupt and adversely affect public broadcasting’s programming nationwide.”
The satellite’s useful life will end in 1991 when its transponders, which relay TV signals to public radio and TV stations around the country, run out of fuel.
Congress last year authorized $200 million to replace the satellite but thus far it has appropriated only $56.81 million for fiscal 1991 for the project.
The Bush Administration has proposed freezing CPB’s fiscal 1992 appropriation at its 1991 level of $242.06 million, with no additional funds to replace the satellite.