A federal court decision has created the possibility that some public television and radio stations could see a windfall of cash from political advertising.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in April that federal law prohibiting public broadcasters from airing political or issue advertising is unconstitutional, even though the same court said a ban on commercials by for-profit products could stand. The U.S. Justice Department must decide by next week whether to ask the court to reconsider its divided decision, or bring an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Stations have held off changing their policies because of the uncertainty of an appeal, and because it so far affects limited stations.
"We are monitoring the case closely and are concerned that lifting the ban on political advertising and public issue ads may undermine the trusted relationship we have with the American public and the objective environment we create for our programs," said Anne Bentley of PBS.
National Public Radio said it will be up to individual stations to decide for themselves how to respond.