Home Arts & Leisure WSHU unperturbed over Trump plans for public broadcasting

WSHU unperturbed over Trump plans for public broadcasting

Reports that President Donald Trump is planning to privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been greeted with something of a shrug from WSHU-FM, a National Public Radio station based at Fairfield’s Sacred Heart University.

George Lombardi

George Lombardi, the station’s general manager, stated that he has heard from several elected officials that the Trump Administration is aiming to privatize the public broadcasting corporation rather than shut it down. An article in The Hill, a political news resource based in Washington, D.C., cited unnamed White House staffers in mentioning the privatization fate for the corporation as part of “dramatic” changes planned for the federal bureaucracy.

While Lombardi told the Business Journal that it was “far too premature to discuss the impact on WSHU,” he said that his station only received 5 percent of its funding from the public broadcasting corporation. “We receive no other taxpayer funding except from the CPB,” he said. “Sixty-two percent of our funds come from foundations and individual contributions, 27 percent are from corporations that offer underwriting support and other sources include larger foundations offering support and from events that generate revenue.”

Lombardi acknowledged that there are reports that the Trump Administration is reportedly seeking to shut down the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In comparison, he believed that the public broadcasting corporation and the entities supported by it might be getting off luckier.

“Privatization would phase out public funding and lead to private funding,” he said.

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