West Virginia Education and the Arts Secretary Gayle Manchin appearing before a Senate Confirmation Committee. One item up for discussion, how to save West Virginia Public Broadcasting, now facing 4-point-6 million dollars in cuts.
“When we look at other states. How have they dealt with public broadcasting issues? If they were under state support, and now they’re not, how did they make that transition?” said Secretary Gayle Manchin, West Virginia Education & Arts.
In some states, Public Broadcasting is run under the public university system.
“With PBS, one of the things I’d like to do is see it better utilized, and I would move it into the education system,” State Sen. Craig Blair, (R) Berkeley.
Senator Blair says by creating lots more student-produced programs such as History Bowl, you’d train new media professionals, and showing more of the state’s upcoming talent, not to mention private underwriters.
“West Virginia is showcasing their best and brightest. You’re doing so many things with that. You’re courting business; you’re showcasing you’re education; you’re teaching people to work behind the scenes,” said Senator Blair.
Meantime some senate leaders say they will not cut funding for the popular Mountain Stage radio program, which airs on public radio nationwide, and promotes West Virginia tourism.
“‘Mountain Stage’ is the voice of West Virginia, again, I think globally, not just across this country,” said Secretary Manchin.
“Overall the goal of these ideas is to broaden the public broadcasting audience base audience base, increasing private donations so there’s less of a reliance on taxpayer dollars,” said Mark Curtis, 7News Chief Political Reporter.