Critics wonder why Vermont Public Television needs federal recovery aid so soon after 2017 when it sold four licenses for a cool $56 million.
"In 2017, the television station auctioned off one of its four broadcast licenses, reaping $56 million. In an interview, Groschner said that $40 to $45 million of the money remained. The station, which recently set an annual budget of $7.8 million, initially applied for the federal Paycheck Protection Program, Groschner said, but ultimately decided not to take the forgivable loans because its needs were not dire. "We thought that we could continue to operate and we would continue to keep people employed, so we said our issue, the coronavirus, does not give cause for us to take that money," she said. The station did receive $260,000 in federal aid through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, she said. Asked why Vermont PBS was asking the state for support when it could afford to use its own cash reserves to improve its infrastructure, Groschner said, "We can, over time. The committee asked for how we would use federal dollars to ensure the resiliency of the system, and we told them.""
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