SENATE APPROVES PUBLIC TV FUNDS, RESTRICTS SEX PROGRAMMING

Americans would get more opportunity to talk back to their public broadcasting stations, but less chance to hear or see sexually oriented shows, under legislation passed by the Senate.

The bill, approved 84 to 11 Wednesday, authorizes $1.1 billion for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting over three years, but with new strings attached.

It would allow so-called indecent programming to be aired on both public and commercial radio and television stations, but only between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. in most areas.

The money authorized in the bill starts with fiscal 1994 and is the same amount already voted by the House.

But the Senate's bill carries other provisions, including a requirement that CPB provide time for public comment on the quality, creativity, diversity, balance and objectivity of the shows and take those views into account when assessing overall national programming.

If CPB decides the programming is one-sided, it must supply the funds to air opposing views.

The different provisions of the House and Senate bill probably will be resolved by a conference committee of the two houses.

Money from CPB provides about 17 percent of the support needed for the entire system, with the rest coming from individual donations and corporate and foundation grants. CPB does not produce any shows itself.

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