Noncoms get rebuild aid


Last week there was some uncertainty over reports that New York broadcasters
displaced by the Sept. 11 attacks were going to get some help from the federal

The picture has cleared somewhat and there does appear to be help on the way,
but only for noncommercial stations.

In response to pleas for help from New York's public broadcasters, Sen.
Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has sponsored an amendment that was made part of the
Department of Defense's 2002 spending bill, which passed just before

The amendment gives $8.25 million to the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration "for emergency expenses to respond to the Sept. 11,
2001, terrorist attacks."

New York's public radio and TV stations will be able to tap that fund to help
rebuild transmission capabilities lost when the World Trade Center towers fell,
according to Association for Public Television Stations president John

The money is a part of the NTIA's Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, which helps to fund public broadcasting projects.

To get the money, New York public TV and radio stations that lost towers must
apply to the NTIA, an executive branch agency within the Department of

Stations that lost towers in the Sept. 11 attacks include WNET (TV) and

Kathleen Rae, WNET director of government affairs, said the station has
been discussing emergency relief funds with the federal government since Sept.
12, and the $8.25 million figure was recommended to Congress by the Office
of Management and Budget.