WASHINGTON — The Corporation for Public Broadcasting refused Friday to take special action now to save the weekend edition of the popular public radio show "All Things Considered."
By a 6-3 vote, the CPB board of directors rejected a proposal offered by board member Harry O'Connor to have the CPB staff review the National Public Radio budget to see whether any funds exist for producing the weekend news show.
NPR has said that the weekend edition of "All Things Considered" will have to leave the airwaves in September unless the public radio network finds additional funds.
Last month, NPR said the future of its arts and performance programming also is uncertain after CPB declined to commit an additional $1.2 million in discretionary funds for the 1986 NPR budget.
The proposal by O'Connor of Playa del Rey followed an appearance at the board's public meeting Friday by Southern California public radio station manager Ruth Hirschman to ask for $300,000 for the weekend news show.
"My listeners have sent me to Washington with a mandate to help save the weekend edition of 'All Things Considered,' " said Hirschman, general manager of KCRW-FM in Santa Monica.
Hirschman said that if CPB provided the money, public radio stations would raise an additional $300,000 to assure the future of the weekend news show, which has the fourth largest public radio audience.
"There is a huge audience in this country, and they will hold you responsible," Hirschman told the board before the vote.
Hirschman asked the board to allocate money for the weekend news show from the $1.5 million in unallocated funds that CPB expects to have this year. CPB officials, however, argued that these funds will have to be used for additional expenses, including costs incurred with recent management changes.
The next scheduled CPB board meeting is in September. NPR officials say they need a decision much sooner for program planning purposes. Some CPB board members said privately that they do not rule out the possibility that the NPR issue could be raised again before September.
NPR President Douglas J. Bennet Jr. said after the CPB vote that NPR has squeezed all it can out of its budget for programming. He said NPR will continue to pursue funding from the stations and other grant-giving groups.
Bennet said NPR is seeking a total of $660,000, of which $495,000 would go to "All Things Considered."
"CPB has a clear responsibility to public broadcasting," Bennet said. "I hope they will review their decision."
Hirschman also vowed to continue to fight for funds for the weekend news shows. "This isn't going to be the end," she said. "We will just have to save it another way."