CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority continues working to raise money and control spending, as it faces continued cuts in federal and state funds that help support West Virginia's public television and public radio networks.
Tammy Treadway, chief financial officer of the West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation, told a WVEBA board meeting Wednesday West Virginia's public broadcasting facilities had a 7.5 percent budget reduction, or $423,000, for the fiscal year ending June 30.
Treadway predicted a similar 7.5 percent reduction for the current state fiscal year, which will come to about $390,000. WVPB has its main operating centers in Charleston, Morgantown and Beckley.
The EBA must also finance rebuilding some of the group's towers and transmitters around the state.
"But while we lost a lot of our government funding, our membership is up," Treadway said. EBA estimated it would get $1.245 million in private donations this year but actually received $1.327 million in donations.
Today, WVPB gets about half of its money from state government. By 2020, it will get only one-third of its money from the state.
Scott Finn, who became executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting in February, is traveling around the state to promote the organization's work.
"I have already done 12 events and will do another 12. I see a deep amount of love and goodwill across the state," said Finn, who was previously a reporter for the Gazette, a reporter for West Virginia Public Radio, then news director for WUSF-TV, a public television station in Tampa, Fla.
"We have some challenges, especially from outages. Our towers need repair," Finn said. "We have 27 transmitters throughout the state, mostly on leased land. In Tampa, we served 4 million people with just one tower."
Public Broadcasting recently built a new tower in Welch, McDowell County.
"We spend a lot of money on buying equipment and maintaining towers. A lot were built with federal grant money." Finn said WVPB must also update a lot of its camera equipment.
Mountain Stage, which has been producing weekly programs for more than 25 years, is now spending more time traveling to out-of-town venues.
"Mountain Stage was forced to hit the road to survive," Finn said. "We make more money on the road."