Idaho Public Television Celebrates Positives, Despite Equipment Troubles

Jan 25, 2013

The head of Idaho Public Television had some good and bad news for budget writers at the Idaho Legislature today. 

General Manager Peter Morrill said IPTV won 53 national and regional awards last year.  One of its premiere programs, Antiques Road Show, is coming to Boise to film several shows.  And…“Late last week we were informed by the good folks at Nielson and Track Media that we are in fact the most watched, most viewed PBS station in the U.S.," Morrill said.  "This is great news.” 

Still, Morrill said there are challenges ahead for the statewide network.  Keeping the signal going in a large portion of Idaho means a lot of equipment, which is growing older every year. 

Morrill has been faced with a broken snow cat, leaky roofs, generators filled with ice and snow, and equipment damaged by a fire. “What is Peter is playing most of the time," he asked.  "Peter seems to be playing Whack-A-Mole, much with equipment maintenance.”

Idaho Public Television requested $2.8 million in general fund dollars. The governor recommends a 2.6 percent increase in general funds or $1.6 million for the station. Morrill says "This recommendation finds a balance between the resources of the General Fund and the needs of Idaho Public Television."

Clarification: BSPR originally reported that Morrill asked lawmakers for an additional $1 million next year to help pay for aging equipment bringing the station's funding request to $2.8 million. The last paragraph of the story now gives a more detailed description of what that initial request was and what's actually being recommended.  

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