President Donald Trump’s budget calls for defunding the Corporation For Public Broadcasting. Cookeville’s WCTE is a PBS station. CEO Becky Magura said the station is working on an awareness campaign.
“The president has lined out PBS for elimination. We need our Congressmen and Senators to know that funding is important, it’s life-altering here in the Upper Cumberland, for this station. It’s not like there are other stations. We’re the only TV station within 75 miles of Cookeville. WCTE is owned by the citizens. All that for $1.35 a citizen. That’s the total appropriation.”
Magura said federal funding is a big part of WCTE’s budget.
“Lots of people don’t realize PBS is WCTE. That money is the very foundation of our work. It’s 40 percent of our budget, it would be a significant loss, not just to WCTE but for the work we do in the region, like education, public safety, civic leadership, creating content about our region. We need to get the word out this funding is critical for us to build on. We raise at least $2 for every $1 we get from the federal government.”
Magura said the WCTE’s funding hasn’t changed in years and that the station has done it’s part to match federal dollars.
Magura said she hopes residents will call and write their federal representatives to let them know they believe funding for PBS is important.