The Case For Defunding Wyoming Public Media
FULL DISCLOUSER: I'm writing this as a broadcaster in commercial radio. I host Wyoming statewide morning talk show, Wake Up Wyoming.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, R., last week vetoed a bill that would have continued to bankroll Oklahoma Educational Television Authority. Their statewide Public Broadcast or PBS.
He has a list of reasons that he thinks his states public radio and TV stations are out of touch and not beneficial for his state.
Among them, Gov. Stitt sees his states Public Broadcasting as extremely left wing, when they are supposed to be neutral in their opinions.
Public Radio and Television were created back when there were very few broadcast stations across the nation.
Folks did not have much for news and other important information back then.
There was no such thing as satellite or cable, and no one had even imagined the internet.
So the Federal government used tax payer's money, along with help from cooperate sponsors and viewer and listener donations, to pay for a network of radio and TV stations across the nation.
At the time this was very helpful to "Flyover Country" in the West and Midwestern states.
But today not many people watch broadcast TV.
Don't worry if cable TV and internet is not available in many hard to reach places out West.
Just look any rooftop and you'll see those small dishes collecting all of that for each and every individual home.
American's today are saturated with any sort of media they may want, any time they want.
So the need to a publicly funded TV and Radio network is gone.
Over the years many of the shows on Public TV have begun to make so much money on their own they don't need any public funding, but they still get it.
Sesame Street is one example of a very successful show that brings in more than enough money to keep running even if the tax payer money were shut off today.
If there were no more Public TV commercial networks would gladly pick up those shows.
Most Public TV and Radio stations make enough money through corporate sponsorships and donations from followers to keep going.
Any that might be in danger of going dark could always switch to commercial broadcasting to keep going.
If they can't make it, then so be it.
That means that they really did not have much of an audience anyway.
No need to keep something going when nobody is really interested in it.
Why fund what is obsolete?
Wyoming PBS gets an "endowment" match from the state. Basically, they are responsible for matching government funds with public funding:
Thanks to your generosity, the WyomingPBS Foundation completed the State Production Endowment match in which the Wyoming Legislature committed $1.5 million to match $1.5 million to be raised by the Foundation, and we completed it a year ahead of schedule. Earnings from this Endowment provide the funding necessary to produce local programs like Our Wyoming, Wyoming Chronicle, and Capitol Outlook.