Protect My Public Media

Save PBS: Jane Pauley
  • Save PBS

Why Save PBS?

Journalist Jane Pauley explains why she believes public broadcasting is invaluable.

Updated October 5, 2012

KCTS 9 Statement Regarding October 3 Presidential Debate

SEATTLE – October 4, 2012 – “It’s surprising and disappointing that Governor Romney would single out Big Bird as a political target,” said Maurice “Moss” Bresnahan, KCTS 9 President & CEO. “PBS has always enjoyed bipartisan support. The federal investment in public broadcasting is about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of that funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss of public broadcasting to our communities would be devastating.

“Viewers can learn more about PBS at, and we ask anyone who cares about the future of public broadcasting to join the 170 Million Americans campaign on Facebook.”

PBS & KCTS 9: Valued Community Service
For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission – harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Terminating this investment would have no effect on the federal budget deficit, but it would have a devastating effect on the essential services – in education, engaged citizenship, culture, public safety and more.

Support for public media runs all across the political spectrum, and is particularly strong here in the Northwest, including not just KCTS 9 but our fellow public television and public radio stations across the state and in Oregon. We enjoy some of the highest viewership for shows from Sesame Street to Masterpiece, and some of the strongest local donations.

KCTS 9 has produced beloved programs from the Bill Nye the Science Guy series to When Seattle Invented the Future: The 1962 World’s Fair. And recently EarthFix, our environmentally-focused reporting partnership with KUOW, OPB and others, won two Online News Association awards and the Society for Professional Journalists’ Best New Site award.

Public television and radio stations are locally owned and community focused and we are experts in working efficiently to make limited resources produce results. In fact, for every $1.00 of federal funding invested, we match it an additional $9.00. It’s a highly effective public-private partnership – working better than our founders ever imagined.

Across the country, over two-thirds (69%) of American voters oppose proposals to eliminate government funding for public television. The immediate and passionate response during last night’s debate shows the depth of support. Romney’s comments about public television provoked an extraordinary, and overwhelmingly negative, response. “Big Bird” was the fourth most-trafficked Twitter subject last night, after “Romney,” “Obama,” and “debate” – at its peak, Big Bird was the subject of 17,000 tweets per minute.

Earlier in 2012, a Harris Interactive poll confirmed that Americans consider PBS the most trusted public institution and the second most valuable use of public funds, behind only national defense, for the 9th consecutive year. Public opinion surveys over many years have shown that the American people consider public media the best investment of federal funds, second only to national defense.

Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households tune in to their local PBS station. In fact, PBS is watched by 81% of all children between the ages of 2-8. Both candidates spoke about the importance of education. We’re America’s biggest classroom. Nearly every home in America has a television. We’re able to bring kids programs that are not only enjoyable but that help them get ready for school, with preschool programs, and math, science, and literacy programs.

Numerous studies -- including one requested by Congress earlier this year -- have stated categorically that while the federal investment in public broadcasting is relatively modest, the absence of this critical seed money would cripple the system and bring its services to an end.

We hope Governor Romney will reconsider his opposition to funding public broadcasting.

About KCTS 9
Headquartered in Seattle, KCTS 9 is the premier source for public media that informs, involves and inspires 2.6 million viewers each week in Western and Central Washington State, British Columbia and across Canada.

A leader in digital and HD technology, KCTS 9 productions and co-productions include Emmy Award-winner The Perilous Fight: America’s World War II in Color, Inside Passage, The Video Game Revolution, three-time James Beard Award winner Chefs A’Field, and Chihuly over Venice, the first HD program to be broadcast nationally.

KCTS 9 provides kids and families from all walks of life the chance to explore lifelong learning opportunities through more than 75 hours each week of nonviolent, commercial-free programming for children in English and Spanish. KCTS 9’s community outreach reaches parents, educators and children through more than 70 workshops, screenings and conferences annually.


Daphne Adair,, 206-443-4835
Hilda Cullen,, 206-443-6791

Updated April 12, 2011

Eight weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that eliminated all federal funding for public broadcasting. Today, Congress is considering a compromise bill that preserves the vast majority of this funding critical to your local public radio and television stations. Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding went from being completely eliminated to now receiving a 0.2 percent cut in the Continuing Resolution (CR).

Who changed the mind of Congress? You did.

Thanks to you, members of Congress realized how essential public broadcasting is to our communities and to their constituents. You spoke up and Congress listened – and for that we say thank you!

Our work is not done. Public broadcasting funding will again be a target when debate on the FY12 budget begins later this week and we will need you to act again to protect this vital public service.

Please click here to invite your friends to join our effort - we encourage you to choose 20 people you know care about public broadcasting. We will need millions of advocates across the country to make sure funding for public broadcasting is safe in the coming months. Please take five minutes to help us reach this goal.

Updated April 1, 2011

Three amendments have been introduced in the U.S. Senate with the goal of eliminating all funding for public broadcasting. These amendments to the Small Business Act Reauthorization (S. 493) were filed by Senator Tom Coburn (OK), Senator Jim DeMint (SC) and Senator Rand Paul (KY) in an attempt to put the Senate’s position on public broadcasting on the record. We cannot allow these amendments to attract support and threaten funding vital to your local public radio and television stations.

Votes on these amendments could occur as early as this week. Please call Sen. Patty Murray 202.224.2621 and Sen. Maria Cantwell 202.224.3441 today.

When talking with your Senators or leaving a message with their staff, make these points:

  • I understand that S. 493, the Small Business Act Reauthorization, has three amendments filed that would eliminate funding for public broadcasting.
  • I urge the Senator to oppose these amendments and any other attempts to eliminate funding for public broadcasting.
  • The majority of public broadcasting funding goes to local public radio and television stations. This essential public service is too important to eliminate.

What else can you do?

Yours is the most important voice in the debate in Washington about the future of public broadcasting. Thank you for standing up to defend this vital public service.

Updated February 10, 2011

Congress could vote to eliminate all federal funding for public broadcasting. You know how valuable locally supported public media is to our community. Millions across Washington state and British Columbia have access to award-winning programs like "Sesame Street," "Masterpiece," "Nature" and "PBS NewsHour" thanks to your support of KCTS 9. Help protect the programs you love.

Federal funding for public broadcasting works out to about $1.35 per American, per year. In return, KCTS 9 and public broadcasters across the country provide trusted news and public affairs coverage, a safe harbor of commercial-free children’s educational programming and free access to award-winning arts performances. Make your voice heard and call your member of Congress today to tell them what you think about eliminating federal funding for public broadcasting.

Make your voice heard and call your member of Congress today to tell them to protect federal funding for public broadcasting. Click here for phone numbers for Washington state's Congressional delegation.

The script below is just an example. It’s your opinion—tell your elected representative why public broadcasting matters to you:

Hello, I’m calling to voice my support for public broadcasting, and to urge [Senator/Representative] to support federal funding for public broadcasting. There are several bills pending in Congress that would eliminate this funding—which is used by local stations like KCTS 9, our local public TV station, to generate almost 10 times that amount—one of the best examples of public-private partnership around.

Public broadcasting is important to me because…

(Express your own reasons for supporting KCTS 9, and feel free to use some of the statements listed below.)

“PBS is essential in this era of sound-bite journalism and shout-fests—do you know KCTS 9 was the only Seattle station to carry the first senate debate? AND it translated it into Spanish and broadcast it on its Spanish language service. The governor took live calls for an hour the other night. I depend on Washington Week and the NewsHour for thoughtful coverage. That is a unique public service we can’t afford to lose.”

“I won’t let my kids/grandkids watch anything else—with all the channels available, PBS is still the only safe haven for children without commercials, violence, objectionable content or inappropriate language. We need a channel that gets kids ready to learn, stimulates their imaginations, exposes them to the wonders of science and nature, and supports parents to support their children…”

“There would be no arts on television if not for PBS! Not only do they bring me the best our culture has to offer from Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Opera—but they cover local arts and culture as well. KCTS 9’s recent special on Picasso and the SAM exhibit was fantastic—that quality coverage of local arts is unique and essential.”

Please let me know if I can count on your support for funding public broadcasting. I can be reached at [phone number]. Thank you.

Washington state elected officials:

Sen. Maria Cantwell
Washington, D.C. (202) 224-3441
Everett (425) 303-0114
Richland (509) 946-8106
Seattle (206) 220-6400
Spokane (509) 353-2507
Tacoma (253) 572-2281
Vancouver (360) 696-7838

Sen. Patty Murray
Washington, D.C. (202) 224-2621
Bellevue (425) 462-4460
Everett (425) 259-6515
Seattle (206) 553-5545
Spokane (509) 624-9515
Tacoma (253) 572-3636
Vancouver (360) 696-7797
Yakima (509) 453-7462

Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01)
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-6311
Poulsbo (360) 598-2342
Shoreline (206) 361-0233

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02)
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-2605
Bellingham (360) 733-4500
Everett (425) 252-3188

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03)
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-3536
Vancouver (360) 695-6292

Rep. Richard “Doc” Hastings (WA-04)
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-5816
Tri Cities (509) 543-9396
Yakima (509) 452-3243

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05)
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-2006
Colville (509) 684-3481
Spokane (509) 353-2374
Walla Walla (509) 529-9358

Rep. Norm Dicks (WA-06)
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-5916
Bremerton (360) 479-4011
Port Angeles (360) 452-3370
Tacoma (253) 593-6536

Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-3106
Seattle (206) 553-7170

Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08)
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-7761
Mercer Island (206) 275-3438

Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09)
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-8901
Tacoma (253) 896-3775

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