The lingering question is how can PBS best position themselves to compete with broadcast networks and non-premium cable channels. With the rules of corporate underwriting having changed and with the public funding of PBS slashed with the arrival of Republican control of Congress and the White House, public broadcasting finds itself moving toward the acceptance of standard advertising techniques. The demographics of those who watch PBS strongly suggest that there will always be sponsors who wish to exploit that high end buying power.
All of this does not mean that PBS needs to position itself to act like other TV selling organizations, however. Viewers of PBS are accustomed to a minimum of advertising and a prime selling point is the lack of interruption of those programs except for the semi-annual fundraising drives. To venture PBS toward a situation in which a Masterpiece Theater production of a Dostoyevsky novel is interrupted for commercials for tampons or beer would be to risk losing a primal attraction for the very audience seeking out that kind of prestige programming.