Vermont PBS avoids funding cut in wake of open meeting probe


COLCHESTER -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting elected not to cut its funding grant to Vermont PBS after finding irregularities in the local affiliate's open meeting practices.

CPB instead fined Vermont PBS, formerly known as Vermont Public Television, $15,000 for improperly warning its board meetings. Vermont PBS receives about $1 million a year from CPB, according to a news release.

CPB's inspector general determined that the station failed to "post on its website notifications properly-closed Board meetings," the release said.

"Vermont PBS is disappointed with this decision, and feels strongly that a financial penalty should not have been issued," the statement said. "Vermont PBS has never before encountered compliance issues, and the station has long-since posted all of the previously omitted meeting notices and voluntarily adopted a comprehensive set of compliance measures."

The release said Vermont PBS will pay the $15,000 from income that it generates through commercial license agreements with radio and cellular providers.

"We are pleased to put this experience behind us," Charlie Smith, interim president of Vermont PBS said. "Today, Vermont PBS is a unified and strong organization and the staff is performing with excellence in fulfilling the core mission. We are excited about the future of public television in Vermont, and look forward to continuing to educate, entertain, and inspire community viewers."


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