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How Would $531 Million In Cuts To Public Broadcasting Affect KUT?

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News
KUT's Jay Trachtenberg delivers the "Song of the Day" on 90.5 FM. Funding to KUT would be cut by about $500,000 under a US House Budget proposal that cuts funding for public broadcasting.

Republican leaders in the US House unveiled a list of proposed spending reductions that would cut more than $74 billion from President Obama's budget request for the current fiscal year. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today said he would like to increase that cut to $100 billion.

The cuts include eliminating federal subsidies for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which the Associated Press reports would save $531 million.

KUT receives about $500,000 per year from the CPB, according to general manager Stewart Vanderwilt. It accounts for about 7 percent of KUT's budget.

"Losing some portion of that support or all of it would be a significant challenge for KUT," Vanderwilt told KUT News.

He says the money is used in two ways. KUT uses CPB funding to pay for radio programs from NPR and Public Radio International such as Morning Edition and This American Life.

The other half of the money is used for KUT programming, "mostly for our news operation," Vanderwilt said.

Vanderwilt says the loss of funding would not harm KUT as much as smaller stations that rely more heavily on federal subsidies, like KRTS in Marfa, Texas.

About 30 percent of KRTS's $419,000 budget is funded by CPB, said Eugene Sepulveda, an Austin entrepreneur and member of the board at KRTS.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.