PBS affiliate warns sequestration could doom its popular shows

The COO and executive vice president of the local Washington D.C. PBS affiliate is warning that sequestration cuts could doom some of the public broadcasting channel's most popular shows.

In a fundraising email with the subject line "Sequestration: the end of "Downton Abbey?" the president and COO of WETA writes that the government's across-the-board spending cuts "could force us to face other difficult decisions regarding the programs you love."

"We need to raise $725,000 by June 30, the last day of our fiscal year, in order to secure our full suite of programming for fiscal year 2014,"  WETA Executive Vice President and COO Joseph B. Bruns writes.

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Bruns continues that "Sequestration has already triggered a cascade of budget cuts and contract cancellations throughout our region.

"With your help we will continue to offer the high-quality programs that you so enjoy — shows like 'Downton Abbey,' 'Sherlock' and most recently 'Call the Midwife.' "

Economic experts expect the sequester's effects to come into better view in the summer.

"The fiscal drag is going to reach its peak in the second and third quarter, and we know that’s going to be around 2.5 percent of GDP," Andrew Busch, a conservative political and economic strategist, told The Hill in May. "People who think the sequester debate’s over, it’s not nearly as bad as they thought it was — to me that’s declaring victory way too soon."