As part of a substantial investment in the arts, General Motors has maintained an ongoing funding relationship with PBS filmmaker Ken Burns (right) for 22 years. As it has with several other high-profile endorsements of the creative and sporting communities, however, the struggling automaker is pulling the plug on its endorsement deal of the award-winning documentarian. While details of the ongoing arrangement haven't been made available, the Detroit News indicates that the automaker has "spent millions underwriting Burns' films," an arrangement that will end with his forthcoming six-part series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea" that airs this Fall.

The Ken Burns announcement is just the latest in a steady parade of extracurricular funding efforts that GM has been forced to cut, including sponsorship of major televised events (Super Bowl, Emmy Awards, Academy Awards), product endorsement deals (Tiger Woods) and corporate benefactor roles (Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts etc.).

The trickledown effect rolls on...

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Frederick M. Brown/Getty]

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