Ken Burns loses GM backing

Company ends support for filmmaker

General Motors Corp. is ending its 22-year support for Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

GM spokeswoman Kelly Cusinato calls Burns “the gold standard of documentary filmmaking,” but says the financial crisis “has forced GM to rein in such spending.” A figure for GM’s aid to Burns isn’t known.

Burns has made a string of high-profile public TV documentaries, including “The Civil War,” “Jazz” and “Baseball.”

His last GM-backed project is “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” a six-part series airing this fall.

Burns’ spokesman Dave Donovan tells The Detroit News that Burns is “incredibly grateful” for GM’s support, calling it “an extraordinary contribution to public television.”

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