House nixes cuts to public broadcasting

Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The House of Representatives has rejected a spending cut that the state's public broadcasting director said would have eliminated all public television service in Alaska outside of Anchorage and Fairbanks.

The plan to cut $1.2 million from the broadcasting budget had passed in committee but was stricken on the House floor Monday.

Don Rinker, executive director of the Alaska Public Broadcasting Corporation, said the effects of such a cut would have been widespread in smaller communities. He said the television cuts would have included the Alaska Rural Communications Service, and would have ended Gavel to Gavel coverage of the Legislature outside of Juneau. The proposal also would have ended rural university distance-learning courses offered by television, and would have stripped grants to some public radio stations.

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