Funding of Public TV

Sharon Bernstein's "An Advertiser Finds a Spot on Public TV" (April 7) more than anything else points up the financial plight of public television, increasingly caught between twin mandates: to remain true to its mission and to be increasingly self-supporting.

Some critics say we should put stricter limits on corporate underwriting and on-air identification of underwriters. Others say we should reduce or eliminate on-air fund drives. Still others want us to curtail telemarketing and direct-mail membership efforts.

The suggestions come after the Reagan Administration cut real dollar federal support of public broadcasting and passed tax law changes that made it increasingly difficult for individuals to contribute to nonprofit organizations.

Meanwhile, California is one of only two states that give no support to public broadcasting. And only one of every seven viewers of KCET contribute to the station.

These are facts of life. It would be helpful if the critics would acknowledge their existence and provide constructive suggestions.

WILLIAM H. KOBIN, President and CEO, KCET, Los Angeles

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