Veto list: Gov. DeSantis nixes funding for public broadcasting stations
Ron DeSantis. Image via AP.

A total of $6,435,609 in capital improvements made the veto list.

Gov. Ron DeSantis yet again vetoed a tranche of funding designed to remedy safety issues at Florida’s public broadcasting stations.

A total of $6,435,609 made the budget to “correct health and safety issues, correct building deficiencies, and complete renovations at public broadcasting stations,” but as in previous years, the legislative request fell on deaf ears on the plaza level. Many of these items also were vetoed last year.

The requests run the gamut of costs, with some cheaper than a new car, such as that from WDNA-FM. The Miami station will not get $19,855 to replace its HVAC Air Handler.

WEDU-TV, which serves Tampa/St. Petersburg, also won’t get the $347,628 sought to replace decayed and mildewed ceiling tiles.

In the same market, WUSF-FM won’t get the $392,750 it sought to replace obsolete electrical systems, nor $172,134 to replace damaged wiring. Also in Tampa, WMNF won’t get $479,770 requested to replace its main generator and fuel tank.

Also on the cut list: $18,850 for WEFS-TV, Cocoa to apply galvanized coating to its deteriorated antenna tower.

WFIT-FM of Melbourne will be deprived of the $576,500 requested to replace its obsolete Main Satellite Dish.

WFSU-TV/FM, Tallahassee took a double hit, with $57,000 to replace emergency equipment cut from the budget, along with $54,000 to repaint its tower to meet Federal Aviation Administration safety requirements.

WGCU-TV/FM, Ft. Myers/Naples, won’t get $175,000 to replace its obsolete backup generator and $350,000 to replace its unsafe lighting grid.

WJCT of Jacksonville also takes a double hit, with $172,134 to replace a damaged studio floor and $631,160 for restroom renovation all cut.

WKGC-FM of Panama City will not get the $215,050 requested to replace its failing main generator, transfer switch and fuel tank.

Orlando’s WFME likewise won’t get $508,431 to fix and refurbish its failing sanitation station, nor the $197,347 requested to replace its fire alarm system. WUCF also is deprived of $625,000 to replace its backup transmitter.

Pensacola’s WSRE is denied $100,000 to replace its studio transmitter link.

Gainesville’s WUFT won’t get the $150,000 requested to replace FAA Safety Lights.

Pensacola’s WUWF’s $593,000 for backup generator replacement is also out of the budget, as is Boynton Beach’s WXEL’s $600,000 sought for HVAC replacement and building automation.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Anne Mackenzie

    June 15, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    What’s with this guy?

  • Jeanne Locke

    June 15, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    Petty politics to create an election bragging point.

  • Amy Roberts

    June 15, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    Well, since I listen,watch, and support PBS, can my stadium $ go to our local station?

  • Charlie

    June 15, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    I guess Rhonda needs more money to send immigrants from Texas somewhere. It appears he does not support PBS in any form. I wonder what they have said in the past to criticize him…

  • Chuck Anziulewicz

    June 15, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    The exact same thing happened in Oklahoma, and the GOP-led legislature overrode the veto. But I’ll bet this doesn’t happen in Florida.

    It’s too bad. The country would be a lot more civilized if more people watched and listened to public broadcasting.

    • VeroBeach

      June 17, 2023 at 10:22 am

      Most of the country would have agreed with you prior to 2015, before public radio went off the deep end.

      But today, the sheer level of unadulterated bias makes it un-listenable to any reasonable person on *either* side.

      • TallyPatriot

        June 20, 2023 at 12:25 pm

        It is obvious that you haven’t listened to “public” radio in years. You just repeat the talking point that you are spoon-fed.

  • Public broadcasting is critical public infrastructure

    June 15, 2023 at 8:41 pm

    Out of a $116B budget filled with turkeys, would expect nothing less than this petty abdication of basic government responsibility for funding for public broadcasting not forgetting they form a critical element of the Emergency Management and emergency broadcast systems, kind of pertinent in FLORIDA.
    Voters who don’t care now don’t realize what they will lose without it..
    Cities should make any stadium or big development deal prerequisite to include support for local public broadcasting. Enough money going down the drain as it is. Public broadcasting is a critical public service and infrastructure. We can all help support if we can, even a little bit. So much is lost without it.

  • Jackson Hall

    June 16, 2023 at 9:52 am

    Bunch of bedwetting losers complaining that hard working taxpayers aren’t being coerced into funding programming watched by a handful of Floridians. If you like it so much write a check. Otherwise STFU.

    • Darwin Singleton

      June 16, 2023 at 10:52 am

      Since Public Broadcasting does focus on the education of the public, it appears that is of little value to Mr. Hall. STFU? Wow. How clever, Mr. Hall. Very 3rd grade of you.

    • Mason d

      June 16, 2023 at 1:12 pm

      Petty insults: check
      Conspiracy about coercion: check
      Generalization w no facts cited: check
      Lack of civics understanding: check
      Attempts to stop free speech: check

      Go to therapy and work on your relationships. You need help and your anger is misplaced. Pathetic.

  • Tomonthebeach

    June 16, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Right out of the fascism handbook. The easiest way to drain opposition is to defund it. Defund any news sources that might report politically unflattering facts. DeSantis is rapidly dumbing down K-12 by editing facts out of textbooks – why not cripple the content of NPR and PBS? Public libraries are being defunded over DeSantis’s baseless transmania fear and loathing campaign too.

  • VeroBeach

    June 17, 2023 at 9:29 am

    I’m sure they can find it somewhere in the remaining $637,125,291 since only 1% of their funding comes from taxpayers?

    • Michael K

      June 19, 2023 at 1:54 pm

      You seem to be unaware that public broadcasting offers alternatives to commercial broadcasting – for free. There are a lot of us taxpayers out there who like pubic media, libraries, parks, public schools, arts, history and culture that feed our minds and spirit. Quality of life may not be important to you, but it is to a great many people, especially those on fixed or limited income.

      Growing up in family with little money, public media opened our eyes and ears to the world and the realm of possibility.

  • I.F. Knot

    June 20, 2023 at 6:55 am

    Government radio and TV, who needs it? Do commercial radio and TV stations get to ask Tallahassee for money? Why not? Guess its time for these stations to start begging again. If listeners and viewers won’t support you, go off the air.

  • Jeff Ward

    June 27, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    I am a financial supporter of public television (PBS) and was once a regular listener to National Public Radio (NPR). But there is no longer any local NPR station serving Palm Beach County. And the PBS station is Miami based. I find it peculiar that our rich county does not have NPR. No surprise that our wannabe dictator hates public broadcasting as much as Disney.

Comments are closed.


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