EL PASO, TEXAS - The budget proposal released by the White House on Thursday suggests eliminating funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. If congress supports Trump's proposal that means local public radio like KTEP and TV station like KCOS would suffer because they depend on on federal funding.
According to Emily Loya the general manger of the local PBS station (KCOS), over 40% of their $1.5 million dollar budget is federally funded. Over $670 thousand comes from federal funds. Loya says they have dealt with cuts in funding in the past and they have mechanisms in place to help alleviate the loss. However, if federal funding were completely eliminated it would be too much for them to try and replace.
For almost 40 years, KCOS has been providing cultural and educational outlets to the community. The programs ran on the station are purchased from PBS.
"We wouldn't have enough funds available, it's almost half a million dollars to purchase the national PBS programming," says Loya.
Without the PBS programming it essentially means there would be no PBS in the Borderland, something Loya says would happen to a lot of other smaller communities.
KCOS also depends on local support and donations to keep the station running. According to Loya, each taxpayer only pays $1.35 towards public TV and radio all together, less than .01% of the federal budget.
A group called 'Protect My Public Media' has started a petition for people to show their support to keep federal funding. You can find the petition here.