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PBS Budget to Grow, Despite Federal Cuts

July 29, 1996

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) _ PBS is offsetting the effects of federal cuts with an aggressive search for new sources of private revenue and plans to increase its budget for next fiscal year by $52 million.

Recruitment of corporate sponsors, including funding partnerships with Reader’s Digest and others, and ventures such as PBS stores are helping bridge the gap caused by federal cuts.

``Ours is a policy of growth, not retrenchment,″ said Ervin S. Duggan, president of Public Broadcasting Service.

Technology also is bringing other opportunities, said Kathy Quattrone, chief programming executive of PBS.

``There are new ways to get our content to people, whether it’s online or CD-ROMs,″ she said Sunday at a meeting with the Television Critics Association. ``We have to be entrepreneurial.″

PBS’s budget will expand from about $172 million this year to $224 million for the fiscal year 1997, the largest jump in its history.

PBS also aims to increase its programming budget by 50 percent in four years _ from the current $114 million to $165 million by 2000.

The public broadcasting industry receives about 14 percent of its total income from federal funding. The 1996 budget of $276 million is 13.4 percent less than what Congress had originally promised, a result of deficit-cutting efforts.

PBS is the primary distributor of national programs, including ``Sesame Street″ and ``Masterpiece Theater,″ to hundreds of public TV stations.

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