I think one of the key aspects of PBS kids' programming is its lack of commercials and product placement. I notice a marked difference in my childrens' behavior when they have watched 30 minutes of PBS Kids programming vs. 30 minutes of Disney Channel--and it's not just that they don't beg me for sugary treats and crummy toys after watching PBS. The pace of the shows is also different and doesn't seem to put kids in a trance like the commercial shows are. I am sure that "trancelike state" is by design to ready the kids for the over the top marketing. It would be a nightmare if our kids no longer had this programming option.
And NPR is the only place I get my news other than online. Commercial news organizations have all lost their way and are too beholden to their corporate interests.