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One of the highest-profile selling tools for the $500 million Austin tourist market may be threatened by politics.
The music television show "Austin City Limits" and its home, KLRU-TV Public Telecommunications, are under fire from the U.S. Congress in a budget battle that some say is as much about politics as dollars.
Public broadcasting stations across the nation are threatened by the battle. Politicians are threatening to force public broadcasting stations to "balance" programming between liberal and conservative viewpoints. And they are talking about cutting off federal funds for the stations. In 1991, the federal general appropriation for public television was $242 million.
According to Bill Arhos, general manager of KLRU-TV, the loss of federal funds would mean a 13 percent annual reduction in that station's budget.
"It's like asking, 'Now that you're walking upright, which part of your anatomy could you best do without? Your left leg?'" Arhos said. "It would be a serious blow to us."