It's an odd piece that popped up in the news this morning. President Trump is preparing his first budget, and in the middle of this....folks kinda noticed this....he zeroed out the normal $445 million that would have gone to PBS, NPR, and went on to eliminate the money for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, along with the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art.
NPR and PBS? So far, nothing said. I suspect they both knew it was coming and mostly hoping that it'd be a fifty-percent cut, or maybe a two-year gradual thing. Well....it's all cut, and would be effective as they pass the budget.
The Senate and House? From the Democrats.....they will freak out. The Republicans? There might be five or six GOP Senators who will fall on their sword to protect PBS and NPR....the rest? They will grin and just say it was time to cut the budget.
I remember NPR in the early 1970s and the great book readings, classical music, jazz, and theater readings. It was a great network in the beginning. Somewhere in the middle of the 1980s....they turned into some news network....classical music started to disappear unless it was late at night, and culture and literature was something that you only got on weekends, and in limited doses.
What will happen to NPR and PBS? I suspect a lot of pressure will be brought upon the Senate and they will find five or six GOP Senators who won't agree to a total zeroed-out budget. So Trump will offer them a simple bone....a twenty-five percent cut now, and a total cut by 2019.
If I were NPR....I'd start to look at the headquarters location....in the midst of high-cost DC....and opt for a lesser environment. Maybe Colorado Springs....maybe Nashville....but somewhere that is half the cost of DC. And then I'd tell all the employees that we will move you there on our 'nickel' but you give up 40-percent of your current pay.
Both NPR and PBS can survive on....if they are careful on their budget and dump the idiots making $200,000 or more. Who knows....maybe NPR will sign off the air in two years and just admit they can't do it without government support.