WETA operates public TV and radio stations in Washington.
The station says the gift announced Tuesday will establish the David M. Rubenstein Fund at Arlington, Va.,-based WETA to create and expand programming about American culture, history and public affairs.
In announcing the gift, the philanthropist Rubenstein says he believes in "the power of public media to be a force for education." He says he hopes the gift will inspire others to support public media.
Rubenstein is co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global asset manager. He is also chairman of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a Smithsonian Institution regent.