More DTV Dough for Noncoms


Federal grants designed to help public TV stations build digital-transmission facilities should be broadened to authorize upgrades for digital programming and production equipment, investigators for the General Accounting Office reported Monday.

GAO, the watchdog and investigating arm of Congress, found that most public stations are well along in their construction of DTV transmission operations, but were falling short on equipment and funding needed to produce local programming in digital. The DTV grants are issued by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
GAO questioned, however, whether another CPB program, the Television Future Fund, is effective. Only about 40% of licensees reported that projects paid for by Future Fund grants achieved their goals of reducing operational costs for their stations.