State Budget Cuts And Cost Increases Force Blue Ridge PBS To Curtail Operations At Two Regional Transmitters
March 27, 2013
Proposed Changes To Take Effect On Or Before June 30, 2013
(Roanoke, Va.)—The Board of Directors of Blue Ridge PBS passed the following resolution on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 during a regularly scheduled meeting at the station’s studios in Roanoke, VA:
“Resolution To Increase Revenue And Curtail Costs
Whereas, significant increases in PBS dues and the loss of all Virginia state funding have created a budget shortfall that is unsustainable for Blue Ridge PBS as it is organized today. Therefore, the Board of Directors of Blue Ridge PBS hereby authorizes and directs the President & CEO to make all possible adjustments, both in fundraising and cost-cutting, to bring the station’s budget into balance. This includes, but is not limited to, curtailing operations at the station’s remote transmitter sites – WMSY-TV, Marion and WSBN-TV, Norton. The Board recognizes that by closing WMSY-TV and WSBN-TV, many citizens of the region may be adversely affected. However, it should be noted that all efforts will be made to continue service to as many viewers and members as is possible through the use of cable, satellite and over-the-air broadcasts from the WBRA-TV transmitter in Roanoke.”
“This is not an action we would choose to take, but it’s essential. The loss of more than a million dollars in education funding from The Commonwealth of Virginia and significant increases in the dues we’re required to pay PBS are forcing us to curtail services in far Southwest Virginia and the Tri-Cities of Tennessee,” said James Baum, station president. “We’ll make every effort to serve our members and viewers through our main transmitter service, WBRA-TV (Channels 15.1 and 15.3) in Roanoke but there’s no question that many citizens in far southwest Virginia and the Tri-Cities will be inconvenienced. An exact timeline has not been established, but the proposed changes will be in effect on or before June 30, 2013,” Baum added.
About Blue Ridge PBS
Blue Ridge PBS, founded in 1967, is a public multimedia enterprise headquartered in Roanoke, VA. As the region’s storyteller, Blue Ridge PBS offers outstanding informational, educational and cultural programming, along with an award-winning local production team devoted to regional issues and interests. Blue Ridge PBS’s broadcast service is WBRA-TV, digital channel 15.1 and 15.3 in Roanoke.