Local broadcaster reacts to Romney's desire to cut PBS funding

By WEEK Producer

October 4, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 8:00 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Should taxpayers continue to foot the bill for public broadcasting?

During Wednesday night's presidential debate, Republican nominee Mitt Romney said he'd cut federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, also known as PBS.

Romney was answering a question by debate moderator Jim Lehrer about how he'd reduce spending. Lehrer works for PBS.

"I will eliminate all programs by this test if they don't pass it, is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?," Romney explained. "If its not, I'll get rid of it. I'm sorry Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things."

Local public radio broadcaster Nathan Irwin of WCBU isn't sure it's a good idea. He thinks public broadcasting offers a unique choice to its audience.

This year, federal funding for PBS will top $440 million.