Senate OKs DTV funds for noncoms


A Senate subcommittee Wednesday marked up a Corporation for Public
Broadcasting appropriations bill that includes both $400 million in advance
general funding and $55 million for digital-TV conversion (plus $10 million for
interconnection efforts).

A house version of the bill, with the blessings of the Bush administration,
provided no additional funding for digital TV for noncommercial broadcasters, although it
allowed the CBP to draw from $100 million of its general appropriation -- the house
figure was $380 million -- to help defray the cost.

The CPB had lamented the House version, but it praised the Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education Wednesday, saying the digital-TV funds offered
"vital support."

The differences between the two bills will have to be hammered out in
conference sometime this summer.