APT Cuts Program, Staff
Alabama Public Television Education

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Posted Jan 9, 2009

APT Cuts Program, Staff

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., January 9, 2009–Alabama Public Television (APT) announced today that it must make programming and staff changes due to the recent state budget reductions. Executive Director Allan Pizzato announced today that the network will no longer be producing its weekly half hour For the Record program—a stable of the APT lineup for more than 25 years—after its February 3 broadcast. In addition, the network is laying off four valued staff members. In making the announcement to employees, APT Executive Director Allan Pizzato explained that the network “is facing its greatest financial challenge ever.” He noted that APT’s 2008-2009 operating budget had already been reduced by more than $2.2 million from the previous year’s budget and that an additional $742,800 has to be cut due to the recent state proration. Prior to this proration announcement, APT had let 6 positions remain vacant and had laid off one production staff position along with other budget reduction measures in order to balance the FY 2009 budget. “We were forced to make some very hard decisions.” he added. “With the elimination of For the Record, we will be asking the remaining production staff to contribute even more. The production staff of Capitol Journal will continue to produce it’s normal Monday-through-Thursday half-hour program during the legislative session, but will add an additional one-hour program on Friday evening at 9 PM that will wrap up the legislative week and incorporate the discussion format with several Alabama journalists that was a signature part of For The Record. After the legislative session ends, Capitol Journal will continue to air on Friday evenings each week throughout the year. “The half-hour programs Alabama Stories, and From These Fields will not appear as monthly programs, but will be placed within the broadcast schedule as Alabama Stories specials throughout the year. With a limited production staff, we will continue to do our best to provide statewide programming dealing with Alabama issues, and continue to tell Alabama stories.” APT’s operating budget funds—which come from the state Education Trust Fund, the federal funds distributed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, private contributions from viewers and corporate underwriting—pay for the PBS programming broadcast on the network’s nine stations, for locally produced programs and documentaries that tell the stories of Alabama, and for the online educational services used by teachers, caregivers and parents statewide. Pizzato indicated that unless tax revenue to the state’s Education Trust Fund and contributions from viewers and corporations to APT increase, APT’s budget for the coming year may see further cuts. About Alabama Public Television Alabama Public Television, America’s first statewide educational television network, is affiliated with the Public Broadcasting System. It is a seven-day-a-week educational resource for every Alabamian – children and adults alike – through online services, analog and digital television programming on three separate channels, documentary production and outreach activities.