This history of public television over the last twenty years shows how powerful political actors and the budget process in the United States have severely restricted the strategic behavior and programming of public TV. This hard-hitting story fills a real void in the literature on the subject and should be required reading for station managers, broadcasters, students and professionals in communications, and public policymakers. The ancillary text with its analysis of organizations theory and models is intended also for undergraduate and graduate students in mass media and communications, public policy, and organizational behavior. This practical analysis of public television funding, organization, and programming opens with an overview of organizations theory and a discussion of two models of organizational behavior. A brief history of public TV policy follows with a description of critical developments under the last four American presidents. The legislative history of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting demonstrates the effects of the budgetary process in TV programming, employment diversity, and services to different audiences. The case study closes with an evaluation of public television in terms of organizational strengths and weaknesses and offers practical suggestions for reform.