Lalena Price Published

Statement From Chairman Of The Educational Broadcasting Authority


General Revenue funding for the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority, which is the governing board of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, is currently up for debate in the West Virginia Legislature.

The Senate bill zeroes out $3.8 million in funding for the EBA while the House bill fully funds it.

The EBA faced being cut from the state budget in 2017 when Governor Jim Justice’s proposed budget zeroed it out. It was restored with cuts in the final budget plan. EBA Chairman Bill File said that everything West Virginia Public Broadcasting does is in service to the people of the Mountain State.

“I’m confident West Virginia’s Legislature and Administration will work to find a way to continue their critical support of WVPB,” File said. “The value WVPB brings to our State is enormous, as shown in its award-winning educational programs supporting our children’s efforts to learn during the recent pandemic. Public Broadcasting plays an important role in the quality of life in our State, and it has a positive impact on our efforts to recruit businesses and families to relocate to West Virginia.”

The Senate bill creates a new account, providing $300,000 for Mountain Stage, a national radio program heard on more than 280 NPR radio stations nationwide, that is funded under the EBA umbrella. The Senate bill also moves the line for Mountain Stage to the Division of Arts, Culture, and History.

“We are pleased that our lawmakers see the value of Mountain Stage, what it does for West Virginia and want to preserve it under a different agency, but the reality is that preserving a $300,000 line would not preserve Mountain Stage. It would cover less than one-third of the show’s operating costs.”