Saturday, May 19, 2007

Radio K on Pawlenty's budget chopping block

Radio K, the student-run radio station at the University of Minnesota has apparently become a bargaining chip in the final days of budget negotiations between Governor Tim Pawlenty and the legislature. According to a Radio K staff member, Governor Pawlenty has demanded the legislature cut $11 Million in funding for public radio.

That will certainly hurt all public radio stations in Minnesota, but the independent non-commercial radio stations that are not affiliated with Minnesota Public Radio could feel the pich the worst. Those stations known as the AMPERS network are KAXE-FM (Grand Rapids), KBEM-FM (Twin Cities), KFAI-FM (Twin Cities), KMOJ-FM (Twin Cities), KMSU-FM and KMSK-FM (Mankato/Austin), KQAL-FM (Winona), KSRQ-FM (Thief River Falls), KUMD-FM (Duluth), KUMM-FM (Morris), KUOM-AM & FM (Radio K) (Twin Cities), KVSC-FM (St. Cloud), and WTIP-FM (Grand Marais).

This isn't the first time the Governor has targeted AMPERS for budget cuts. In Pawlenty's 2003 budget he proposed cutting funding by 15%. In 2000, Governor Jesse Ventura proposed cutting Public Radio funding by more than $600,000.

UPDATE -- Monday
The State Government Finance bill was finalized in the wee hours of the morning. So far, none of the AMPERS money was cut. AMPERS stations are in line for $500,000 in equipment grants and an increase of $126,000 to its community service grants to bring them to $350,000 per year.

Public TV digital conversion grants got cut by $3,100,000 and MPR digital conversion grants got cut by $1,000,000.

However, Radio K's funding could still be a victim of a line item veto from Governor Pawlenty.

2 Comments:

Blogger Team said...

Just to clarify, there is a distinction between Minnesota Public Radio and AMPERS (you seemed to have used them interchangeably). Minnesota Public Radio isn't what's threatened, rather it's Independent Public Radio that's in trouble, and that's what Radio K belongs to.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Michael M said...

I apologize if that wasn't clear. AMPERS is made up of the stations I listed above. None of them are Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) stations.

1:03 PM  

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