Originally published: March 21, 2011
Last updated: March 21, 2011 - 9:23pm
Outside the country's most populated areas, tune your radio up and down the dial, and you'll often lock in on just one station: public radio.
In Alaska, that station might be airing the fishing report, a local school board meeting, a news report from National Public Radio, happy birthday wishes to locals - or even a tsunami warning. The state's public radio stations have long been an important part of everyday live, and the state's 700,000 residents could be hard hit if Congress limits how local public radio stations spend federal money - or if it does away altogether with government funding of public broadcasting. Alaska's public broadcasters, which include 26 radio stations and four television stations, are keeping a close eye on Washington, where some cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are all but assured. "The more rural and remote you are, the more dependent you are," said Steve Lindbeck, the president and general manager of Alaska Public Telecommunications. House Republicans last month passed a spending bill that would eliminate the $445 million budget of the CPB, which disperses money to 1,300 locally owned and operated TV and radio stations across the country. In Alaska, it added up to $8.4 million in 2009, including $1.3 million for the digital television conversion.
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