CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Concerned about the long-term financial health of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, members of the Educational Broadcasting Authority Wednesday ordered executive director Dennis Adkins to come up with a strategic plan for the agency's organization and finances by July 31.
Authority member Mark Polen said afterward that the authority has concerns about the long-term viability of Public Broadcasting, noting, "You've got to have a plan for dealing with it."
Authority members adopted the motion, along with a call for a formal review of Adkins' job performance, after meeting in closed session Wednesday.
That followed a financial report showing that Public Broadcasting is still struggling financially, with declines in fund-raising and corporate underwriting in the post-recession economy -- and the potential for a major cut in state funding in 2013.
"As a member of this commission, I get very uneasy knowing we could be facing serious budget issues in the next six months," authority member John Dahlia commented.
Through April 30, contributions to public broadcasting are down 7 percent from the same point last year, while corporate underwriting is down 8 percent from 2011 and has plunged 36 percent from 2008.
That amounts to an $112,274 drop in revenue from 2011, and more than a $280,000 plunge from the same point in 2008.
Meanwhile, Public Broadcasting Finance Director Mike Meador said the agency has been advised by the Tomblin administration to expect a 5 percent cut in its state appropriations next budget year, which would amount to a reduction of nearly $300,000.
The state appropriation, which will be $5.64 million in the 2012-13 budget year, provides more than half of Public Broadcasting's total operating budget. However, out of the amount, the Legislature requires Public Broadcasting to transfer $300,000 to Mountain Stage, and $45,000 to the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.
Adkins said it will be no problem to put together a strategic plan in less than two months, saying he did that regularly working for commercial television stations.