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PBS Head Talks in Spokane about Federal Funding for Public Broadcasting

The question of whether the federal government will continue to provide funding for public radio and television is again before Congress. And so it was especially timely when Paula Kerger, the head of PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, came to town last Friday.

“I’m here in Spokane to celebrate the 50th anniversary of KSPS and it’s an extraordinary milestone for the station, one of the earlier stations to sign in on the air in the country, so I’m really very proud to be part of this wonderful milestone event," Kerger told SPR's Steve Jackson.

This is an important symbolic year for public broadcasting in the U-S. It’s not only the KSPS anniversary, it’s also the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Public Broadcasting Act. That law led to the creation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is the entity that receives federal funding and disperses it to public radio and TV stations around the country.

And now, as the system evolves and the debate continues over whether federal funding is still appropriate, Kerger is reminding people about the value she believes local stations provide.

This story features excerpts from an interview of Paula Kerger done by SPR's Steve Jackson.