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News Release

Release No. 0634.10
Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384

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USDA Announces Funding to Assist Rural Public Television Stations with Digital Conversion Projects

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2010-Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced the selection of public television licensees in 13 states to receive funding to complete digital TV conversion projects. The funding is provided through the Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program, which is administered by USDA's Rural Utilities Service. The program provides equipment funding to public stations that serve substantial rural populations.

The funding will support digital transition efforts, which include replacing outdated transmission equipment in isolated rural areas. For example, the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television (KATV) has been selected to receive a grant to place digital translators in eight isolated rural communities. USDA funds will also be used for one digital translator to serve a rural part of southern West Virginia that had previously received analog service. The project will provide public broadcasting coverage to several counties which lost good quality over-the-air signals.

Funding for individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the grant agreement. A complete list of the stations selected for funding is below:


Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University; $177,508


Redwood Empire Public Television, Inc.; $550,275


Idaho Public Television; $142,025


Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University; $749,000


Kentucky Authority for Educational Television; $677,920


Maine Public Broadcasting; $655,580


University of Central Missouri; $576,246

North Dakota

Prairie Public Broadcasting, Inc.; $382,725

New Mexico

Regents of the University of New Mexico; $39,000

New York

St. Lawrence Valley Educational Television Council, Inc.; $698,693


Southern Oregon Public Television; $246,512


Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council, WCTE TV; $183,154

West TN Public Television Council, Inc.; $735,550

West Virginia

West Virginia Education Broadcasting Authority; $366,000

The grant funding totals $6.2 million. USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in the nation's capital and nearly 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of nearly $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.


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