The Public Broadcasting Service (“PBS”) is poised to vote on June 14-15 on a revised programming policy for its affiliated TV stations which, among other policies, would not permit them to air “sectarian” programs.That means that air time would not be available for things like TV Masses, which are a real service to shut-ins (especially the poor, who do not have access to cable). According to the USCCB, "The Archdiocese of Washington already has been informed by WHUT in Washington, D.C. that its Mass for shut-ins, which had been aired for years on that station, will be dropped."
PBS isn't paying for the broadcast of the Mass; they just want to refine their "brand." But this decision would affect (back to the USCCB here) "several stations owned by religious entities. Those include WLAE, a New Orleans PBS affiliate owned by a lay Catholic organization" and "KMBH, a Brownsville PBS affiliate owned by the Diocese of Brownsville." And...don't the airwaves still belong, technically, to the people? We're not talking subscriber cable here, but broadcast.
PBS staff told USCCB that the decision-making committee would find community reaction helpful. If you have a reaction to this proposed decision, please send an email or fax to: Helen Osman, Secretary of Communications, USCCB at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/541-3129 before June 12, 2009.For more specifics, visit the PBS site.