Pasadena, CA -- The two days of PBS panels at every Television Critics Association tour are often the least attended, which doesn’t mean the turnout is anemic – only that it is not as robust as the broadcast and cable networks. Especially noticeable is the absence of younger TCA members, who tend to clear out when PBS comes in. This was not the case when I joined the TCA way back in 1990 and for many years thereafter. PBS panels were packed back then. I suspect this change is due to a lack of interest in the brain-food, culture vulture programming PBS promotes at TCAs, especially among Millennials (sorry, kids), and/or budget cuts by their editors and publishers. (Whether young and naive or simply desperate or greedy, some of them do not prioritize public television). Regardless, PBS is a free service that provides education, entertainment and information to all Americans, and given the social, political and economic issues facing everyone in the country, how can those not be valuable attributes worth supporting? Unlike so much content available today, PBS is not niche; nor should it ever be thought of as such.
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