Focus at Four: KAMU responds to proposed public broadcasting cuts

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - President Donald Trump has again proposed a budget that would eliminate almost all federal funding for public broadcasting.

In Bryan-College Station, that move could have a big effect on local station KAMU, which provides a lot of public programming for the Brazos Valley from the campus of Texas A&M University.

The plan is merely a proposal at this point, and last time President Trump proposed similar cuts, Congress didn't go through them.

However, it's a threat that Wayne Pecena, acting general manager of KAMU, says his organization has to take seriously every time.

"The Corporation for Public Broadcasting provides about 40 percent of our funding," said Pecena. "And from what we understand of this plan, we'd lose about all of it."

Pecena says it's possible that local KAMU employees could lose their jobs because there would have to be "reallocation of resources," but he says mostly the concern is the programming.

"Whether it be children's programming from PBS, or some of the news programs on NPR," said Pecena, "that would be the biggest impact to us--what kind of programs would we replace those with?"

Pecena says he's grateful that Congress hasn't gone through with similar cuts before, but he remains on edge that this time will be different.

"I think you have to be concerned," said Pecena. "At the same time, have optimism that the public will speak, as they have in the past, that public media is important to their lives, to their families--and Congress listens."