I read where the local PBS station WQPT is considering the process of separating from Black Hawk College. The public station has lost it’s funding from Black Hawk College about two years ago during State of Illinois Budget cuts. That leaves just federal funds and private donations as the station’s source of revenue. According to a Dispatch/Argus story, the station and the college have come to an agreement where the PBS station can stay on campus for up to three years, at $5000 a month rent, while they make final determination of their future. The story said there was a possibility that another college might be willing to take over the station license.
I have not watched PBS -other than a handful of Iowa amateur wrestling programs- since I switched to cable and then Direct TV. As for WQPT, I would like to see it survive since I know it has a following. Perhaps they can find alternative funding from private donors or another University. However the best answer to their financial problems is the solution offered by many people, when the split between the Black Hawk College funding and the station became evident – Sell advertising and quit relying on federal and state taxpayer money! Taxpayers should not have to pay lifetime mandated government bailouts for stations like WQPT to be on the air. If PBS/WQPT cannot survive using the same promotional systems that every other television station relies on – then maybe they should just fade away into history. PBS needs to learn to survive like every other corporation. If they need cash they need to start earning it or close up shop.