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Can PBS offset cutbacks with commercials?

It is not inconceivable. As the sun sets over the Great Barrier Reef and David Attenborough strolls into a fadeout contemplating some prehistoric epiphany, none other than Mr. Whipple may be nipping at his desert boots, fingers flexing around a roll of Charmin. Hard pressed on all sides—especially from Washington—PBS will try running commercials to keep solvent and keep the flag flying.

"At the time of our best season ever, the future looks just horrible," groans PBS President Larry Grossman. Samurai budgeteers have already cut the original 1983...

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