Spokane PBS station benefits from political statement

Published On: Oct 15 2012 10:40:29 PM PDT   Updated On: Oct 16 2012 10:16:48 AM PDT
Spokane PBS station benefits from political statement
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Mitt Romney ruffled some feathers with his promise to cut funding to PBS during the first presidential debate.

But 12 days after that statement, KSPS in Spokane said they've received an increase of calls from viewers asking about their funding.

"The one thing that we've seen has been an increase in awareness. We have had a lot more people calling to inquire about how much funding we get from the federal government and what impact would be on us if we lost that," said Gary Stokes with Friends of KSPS.

KSPS currently gets 72 percent of their funding through donations from viewers and corporations. 20 percent of their funding is from the government which comes out to a little over a million dollars each year.

"Even though it's only 20 percent of our budget, that's 20 percent of our budget. Anyone getting cut at 20 percent would have a difficult time so it's not going to be easy," said Stokes.

Stokes said the loss of funding could also lead to shows going off the air.

"It would impact our ability to buy some of the programs and provide some of them that a lot of our viewers have come to know and love," said Stokes.

On a national level, 15 percent of PBS's budget comes from federal funds. But for smaller stations, that percentage is much higher and in the 40 to 60 percent range.

"For those stations, they are going to have to work harder with a small donor poll to raise the same amount of money. In this economy that's become a difficult task," said Stokes.

In order to fill the potential million dollar gap at KSPS, they have had to ask members to give a little extra.

"We would have to lean on them a little more in order those services," Stokes said.