Budget is blow to noncoms

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A house appropriations subcommittee has approved the administration's public
broadcasting budget.

While it gave noncoms the advance funding mechanism they had sought, they
didn't like the numbers that came up.

Noncoms will not get additional funds to help with the digital transition,
but may use up to $100 million from the $380 million general `04 appropriation.

That, says noncom execs, represents a double hit.

CPB had asked for $410 million, plus $60 million for digital conversion.

CPB will get $390 million in `05, but only $330 million in `06.

CPB says if it has to use the $100 million from its general fund in `04, that
will mean a 26% cut in operating grants to stations.

Full-committee markup is slated for June 25.

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