New governor plans to eliminate public broadcasting funds
MINNESOTA–Newly elected Gov. Jesse Ventura wants to completely eliminate state funding of public radio and television stations in the next few years.
Ventura has announced that he wants to cut funding for Minnesota Public Radio and 11 other public radio stations by 25 percent in the first year, 75 percent the next year and total elimination by the third year. Funding for public television stations would be cut by 25 percent in two years, 50 percent the next year and would be eliminated entirely within four years.
Ventura told reporters at a press conference that public radio stations seem to be able to afford state-of-the-art equipment that commercial stations often cannot afford. But Maggie Montgomery, general manager of public radio station KAXE-FM in Grand Rapids, countered that her station runs on a very tight budget.
Montgomery said that KAXE has been partly funded by the state of Minnesota for 10 years. Last year state funds accounted for approximately 14 percent of the station’s operating budget. Without the funding, the station would not disappear but it would face a possible reduction in staff or programming, Montgomery said.