Oct 29, 2010
"Any new funds routed through a reformed corporation should come with conditions. One should be that that PBS, NPR, and their member stations have incentives to work across digital media, and to embrace local reporting to a much greater degree than they do now (which is not much, overall; only 478 of the 901 stations airing NPR programming have staff of any kind, and only a fraction of those have a local news staff). The stations should also be given incentives to connect their audiences to other non-profit and commercial media outlets through open systems, just as web aggregators do, in order to strengthen innovators and new entrants."
Oct 28, 2010
Food programs are very popular on Channel 8, and lots of local "foodies" use Twitter to share local restaurant info, so the combo was a natural. National programs during Bon AppeTweet (seriously, is that the best name or what?) included several from WQED's food dude Rick Sebak, who also Tweeted along. Whole Foods Market issued a Tweet Challenge, donating $1 per Tweet to the station to support food-related shows, and the Houston Chowhounds hosted a viewing party/fundraiser at 14 Pews, a local microcinema in a converted church. "Not only was our hashtag #HoustonpbsEats trending in Houston, it was actually trending in Pittsburgh for a while last night, too!" Coan said. "WQED said we put the 'fun' back in fundraising."
Above, viewers at 14 Pews included, from left, Greg Morago, food editor for the Houston Chronicle; Penny De Los Santo, a photojournalist with Saveur Magazine; Linda Salinas, event chair with the Houston Chowhounds; and her fellow foodie Dan Streetman. (Image: Cressandra Thibodeaux)
Oct 27, 2010
Oct 26, 2010
The Association for Public Television Stations also issued a statement Monday (Oct. 25) countering calls to end the funding. "There is widespread understanding that public television exists to provide what the market does not," said Interim President Lonna Thompson, "reaching underserved audiences in communities across the nation."
And g.m.'s are weighing in on the controversy. Norm Silverstein, president of WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., wrote on its website: "Whether you agree with the firing or not, once NPR allowed Williams to take on a paid role as a commentator for Fox News, at the same time he was a news analyst for NPR, it was only a matter of time before there was an explosion." WJCT President Michael Boylan in Jacksonville, Fla., told station viewers and listeners in a blog entry, "I want to assure you that this decision was made by the management of NPR without input on the part of local stations. In many respects I and many of my colleagues throughout the system share the frustration as expressed by both regular and occasional listeners and have communicated such to NPR, specifically as to how the matter was handled."
Oct 25, 2010
The ad, for GOP Superintendent Tom Luna, criticizes his Democratic challenger, Stan Olson, recently retired superintendent of the Boise School District. In their recent debate on IPTV, Olson made reference to his difficulty with math. The personal care products company Melaleuca Inc., which paid for the ad, was denied permission from IPTV to use that copyrighted material. Its chief exec Frank VanderSloot told the paper he thought IPTV’s response was “way out of line,” decided to go ahead with the ad anyway, and has hired copyright attorneys to challenge the state.
Vocalo, which kicked off as a multimedia public-square discussion space in 2007, is having a rough go of it. A strategic plan (PDF) presented to Chicago Public Radio's board last October said, “As a website Vocalo must be seen as unsuccessful so far” (Current, Jan. 11, 2010).
UPDATE: Also, don't miss the National Center for Media Engagement/WGBH webinar Nov. 10 on the Freedom Riders outreach; more here. NCME says it's streaming the entire program for station staff to preview leading up to as well as after the webinar.
Oct 24, 2010
Oct 21, 2010
In a joint statement issued yesterday, NPR President Vivian Schiller and News Chief Ellen Weiss said: "[W]e did not make this decision lightly or without regret. However, his remarks on The O’Reilly Factor this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a News Analyst with NPR."
Williams declined to comment in today's Washington Post story. "I better bite my tongue at this point," he said.
NPR.org's The Two-Way blog has links to blogosphere coverage and a comment thread that's approaching 100 postings. Politico reports that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who joined as a Fox News commentator after his 2008 run for the Republican presidential nomination, is calling for the new Congress to cut NPR's funding.
Oct 20, 2010
Oct 19, 2010
But how? "Public policy makers will need to translate old commitments to public broadcasting infrastructure to new commitments to broadband infrastructure and distributed public media funding. If this happens, KCET's experiment will herald a new beginning."
Oct 18, 2010
Eight pubcasters are in the 400. Best number: WETA, up 15 percent. Worst number: American Public Media, down 17 percent.
— PBS is No. 53 with private support of $276.9 million in FY09, down 7.7 percent. It spends 0.1 percent of its private support on fundraising.
— WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, is No. 73 with private support of $231.4 million in FY08; no data for the previous year comparison. It spends 9.4 percent of its private support on fundraising.
— WNET.org, New York, is No. 182 with private support of $105.7 million in FY09, down 5.6 percent. It spends 21.1 percent of its private support on fundraising.
— WETA/Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association, Arlington, Va., is No. 232 with private support of $83.3 million in FY09, up 15 percent. It spends 12.5 percent of its private support on fundraising.
— NPR, Washington, is No. 285 with private support of $64.7 million in FY09, down 9.2 percent. No data on fundraising percentage.
— KCET/Community Television of Southern California, Los Angeles, is No. 337 with private support of $52.4 million in FY09, up 9.6 percent. It spends 16.8 percent of its private support on fundraising.
— Northern California Public Broadcasting, San Francisco, is No. 357 with private support of $49.6 million in FY09, down 7.4 percent. It spends 27.4 percent of its private support on fundraising.
— Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media, St. Paul, is No. 377 with private support of $45.5 million in FY09, down 17.0 percent. It spends 18.3 percent of its private support on fundraising.
Oct 17, 2010
Oct 15, 2010
At the meeting the group also announced its new William Kobin Public Television Leadership Award. "We presented the first award to Bill himself, and plan on giving the award periodically to a worthy recipient who has impacted public television," Wright said.
A Thursday (Oct. 14) memo to station execs and programmers says the weekly Nielsen ratings that PBS began using last year, an improvement over the previous monthly numbers, provided a "depth of audience data" to allow it to "better optimize audience potential for our content." In the case of Nova, additional research showed potential to expand its audience through the schedule change.
Nova's move to 9 p.m. Eastern Wednesdays will allow for two to three hours of themed content that evening on science, exploration and natural history. This winter, Nova will run after Nova scienceNOW; in the spring, Secrets of the Dead will be in that 8 p.m. Eastern slot. Tuesdays will feature historical and cultural documentaries, which research shows has a significant audience overlap with Frontline, the memo says. Tuesdays bring the second season of Pioneers of Primetime (with first season repeats) this winter, with Henry Louis Gates' Blacks in Latin America in the spring. "Thereafter," the memo says, "PBS's schedule on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. is a development opportunity for new series," including a show in early planning stages through the CPB/PBS Diversity and Innovation Fund.
The Thursday night feed also will shift to allow a repeat of Antiques Roadshow at 8 p.m., and The This Old House Hour feed at 10 p.m.
Pop-outs include a sesquicentennial encore presentation of the Ken Burns blockbuster, The Civil War.
"The Nova move and other structural schedule changes this winter also sets the stage for further potential PBS primetime schedule changes to come in future seasons," the memo notes.
Oct 14, 2010
Oct 13, 2010
UPDATE: The memo has generated several hundred comments on HuffPost.
Meanwhile, viewers continue to comment on KCET President Al Jerome's Ask Al blog on the station website. One: "What a sad day. My four year old daughter is in tears because her beloved PBS shows will no longer be aired on KCET. I think this is a big mistake."
"That’s 'public radio' grown into 'public media,' meaning that these news operations would be digital-first, text-heavy and video-ready, while porting over the audio from radio," Doctor writes. "In other words, not re-purposed 'radio' news, but the kind of standalone, multi-platform news operations we’re starting to see, as with TBD in Washington, D.C."
Kling hinted at the regional initiative last month when announcing his plans to retire and during a speech at the Aspen Institute in August. He described its broad outlines last fall during the Future of News Summit convened at MPR headquarters.
Oct 12, 2010
Three members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested; two got off by testifying against Jimmy Dale Hutto, who was convicted and sent to jail. He allegedly planned to bomb the Pacifica stations in Berkeley and Los Angeles.
When the station resumed broadcasting in January 1971, PBS's Great American Dream Machine covered the event live. "Outside this room, people are celebrating free speech," said station manager Larry Lee on PBS, "and something is wrong when free speech is a cause for celebration, and there are armed police out there guarding us." Guthrie wrote a song for the occasion, including these lyrics: "When I get to Houston, pull out my strings, walk to the station, you can hear me sing — you get bombed, all God's chillun get bombed."
UPDATE: A CPB spokesman tells Current that Radio K (KUOM) has "for several years" met neither of the CSG Audience Service Criteria, of community financial support or measurable audience goals. Five years ago, CPB informed the station that funding would be discontinued for fiscal 2011 if the situation didn't change; the station received annual updates that it was not recovering. The station's FY10 CSG was $63,071.
Oct 11, 2010
The decision left confusion in its wake. KOCE President Mel Rogers says it has to "ramp up in a hurry" to assume primary station status. "It's in our interest to make sure viewers get the same content at the time they're accustomed to watching it," he said. "That's the goal we're shooting for." But Kerger would only say that KOCE will be the primary station "if that's what we need them to do."
Plus, KCET's participation in a four-station, resource-saving consortium (Current, Aug. 5) with area stations KOCE, KVCR and KLCS, is in up in the air. KCET President Al Jerome told Current he'd like the station to remain in the group; Larry Ciecalone, president of KVCR, said the group is continuing without KCET. "The collaboration would've been stronger with four stations, but the market will still win with three of us involved," Ciecalone said. However, Kerger said "the door is not shut at all" for KCET to play some role.
— Jerome told the New York Times Media Decoder blog: “I imagine there will be some loss in the donor base, but in the direction we’re headed, I’m very comfortable we’ll also re-establish our donor base.” Kerger said that allowing KCET to lower its dues was not possible because “all of our stations abide by the same dues structure, and it’s very difficult for us to make an exception.”
Oct 9, 2010
Oct 8, 2010
In a statement, PBS said: “PBS was notified today of KCET’s intention to withdraw its membership. At issue were KCET’s repeated requests that it be allowed to operate as a PBS member station without abiding by PBS policies and paying the corresponding dues. The Board and senior management of PBS remain focused on ensuring the people of Los Angeles continue to benefit from the full range of high-quality PBS content and services. . . . PBS’s goal is to have a financially stable service in the Los Angeles market. PBS fully supports the idea of a Southern California consortium of stations and continues discussion with KOCE, KVCR, and KLCS, PBS’ additional stations serving the Los Angeles market.”
CPB issued a statement clarifying that KCET remains an FCC-licensed educational station and is still eligible for Community Service Grants and other funding.
In a statement from KCET, Jerome said: "Our plan is to become the media partner for the many diverse, creative voices in our community with stories to tell, art to exhibit, music or dance to perform and news to report. We will partner with other public service organizations so that our viewers can learn about the good work being done, but not often reported in the commercial media. We will use our broadcast spectrum and broadband capabilities to expand public service at a time in our history when people of all ages want to actively participate in the recovery and growth of our region."
Jerome also posted a letter to viewers on his Ask Al page on the station's website. And the station's Twitter feed is explaining that as of Dec. 31, KCET will no longer livestream PBS shows but that programming will be available on PBS's video site.
— KOCE President Mel Rogers in Huntington Beach, Calif., tells the Orange County Register that KCET has "done a good job for public television over the years and it's time for us to step into the breach" to carry the PBS programming lineup for area viewers.
— The Los Angeles Times Showtracker television blog quotes a media expert that KCET's departure signals to other PBS stations "that affiliation isn't that important anymore." Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., also said that the move also increases doubts about the future of pubcasting. "PBS certainly does not play the essential role it once did in the nation's media landscape," McCall said. "For years, PBS provided things that couldn't be had from the traditional networks. Now, with cable outlets, not to mention the Internet, the public doesn't rely on PBS for such fare."
— On a call-in show on Southern California Public Radio following the announcement, the score was negative calls, five; positive, one. The enthusiastic support came from a local woman who runs a broadcast production company.
Oct 7, 2010
Oct 6, 2010
During an appearance at the Public Radio Program Directors conference in Denver last month, Dubner said the show came into being after he told WNYC senior producer Collin Campbell that, as much as he enjoyed appearing on the station's PRI series The Takeaway, he couldn't deal with the early hours required for morning drive-time radio. "I said, 'I want to do a radio show,' and Collin came back with a show plan."
The Marketplace debut coincides with launch of biweekly podcasts, which take on "of the moment" topics and will scale up to weekly production in January, Dubner told PRPD attendees. Forthcoming radio specials will deal with "themes that are big enough to be dealt with in one hour," he said. "What we do is primarily story-telling based on a different way of looking at the world." Freakonomics Radio is a co-production of American Public Media and New York's WNYC.
Oct 5, 2010
Oct 4, 2010
Nearly a third said they spend between one and two hours a day with NPR content but -- unlike Facebook fans that NPR surveyed this summer-- fewer Twitter users experience NPR content as radio listeners. Two-thirds of responding Twitter followers, or 67 percent, said they listen to NPR radio broadcasts, compared to three-quarters (76 percent) of Facebook fans.
More Twitter users turn to NPR's digital platforms, especially podcasts and iPhone apps. Thirty-nine percent of Twitter followers use NPR podcasts, compared with 29% of Facebook fans. The gap is wider for the NPR iPhone app: 32% for Twitter and 19% for Facebook.
With a median age of 35, NPR's Twitter community is a lot younger than its radio audience (median: 50) and its Facebook fans (median: 40) .
Mashable offers this observation: "Not to put too fine a point on it, the future of news media lies in successful integration of social media to get the attention (and click-throughs) of a younger generation — a generation whose news needs are vastly different than those of the generations that preceded it."