PBS has brought its mobile app to Android, giving Android users access to full episodes of shows like Frontline, PBS Newshour, Masterpiece, Nova and Call the Midwife. The new app also comes with Google Cast support, allowing users to beam their shows to their TV, provided it’s equipped with Google’s Chromecast streaming stick or any Android TV streaming device.
Many TV viewers could lose their PBS programs if one or both of the Toledo region’s PBS stations sell out and go off the air to make way for more frequencies for cellphones and other mobile devices. WBGU, owned by Bowling Green State University, is strongly considering selling its license during the FCC’s buy-back auction next year. WGTE, an educational station based in Toledo for 63 years, may consider the auction, but is less likely to sell, according to executives.
Public broadcasters continue to press the FCC to ensure that the upcoming repacking of spectrum does not create “white areas” where over-the-air viewers would lose access to public television.
Thousands of hours of archival footage are emerging from dusty storage rooms at public television stations to find a second life in advertisements, marketing campaigns, documentaries and other media projects produced as far away as China. Sales of stock footage ballooned 40% worldwide from 2011 to 2015, driven by growing viewership of Web video.
Vermont policymakers are aiming to cut funding for the state public TV network’s operating budget by more than 50%, or just over $276,000, for fiscal year 2016.
PBS this coming TV season will boast an unvarnished look at entertainment entrepreneur Walt Disney, a revival of Ken Burns epic documentary The Civil War and something that has been a rarity on the network in recent years: a drama financed by PBS set in America.
A CPB “state of the system” analysis of public broadcasting data from 2014 showed some improvements and turnarounds for public television. Public TV ended a nearly five-year trend of staff downsizing, major-giving revenues increased and the number of individuals donating to public TV stations grew slightly.
President Rob Dunlop said the Seattle PBS outlet is “flipping the model” of the typical public TV station by creating original digital content that will be broadcast later. “We are not diminishing our commitment to Channel 9,” Dunlop said. “But in order for us to be a public media institution of tomorrow, and to engage new audiences where they are spending time — online and mobile — we need to create content first for those platforms.”
Noncommercial WQED Pittsburgh has spent much of 2014 celebrating its 60-year history, but as winter approaches, there are divergent ideas about its future. In October, the public broadcasting enterprise eliminated four jobs, while reducing work hours for five staffers including Chris Moore, one of its most recognizable personalities. In a statement, WQED spokesman George Hazimanolis said the reductions (from a reported staff of 80) were prompted by declining government support and “a fast-changing media and technological landscape.”
PBS has named Marie Nelson as its new vice president news and public affairs. Nelson most recently served as executive producer of national programs at PBS member station WGBH Boston, where she oversaw production of eight-part docu-series America After Ferguson, exploring the impact of America’s changing demographics.
A planned spectrum auction has caused concern that universities and states that hold public station licenses but are not primarily broadcasters may give up spectrum and use the proceeds for other needs.
CPB’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution Thursday urging the FCC to avoid allowing “white areas” that would lack public television coverage after the upcoming spectrum auction and channel repacking.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brownsville is negotiating the sale of KMBH Harlingen, Texas, which could end, or interrupt, public television programming in the Rio Grande Valley. But attorneys involved in the sale, as well as a diocese spokeswoman, said steps are being taken now to continue public television programming.
With the launch of a new national series next week, Chicago’s PBS outlet WTTW is living up to its branding as a “Window to the World.” Local, USA is billed as a 13-part documentary series showcasing segments from public television stations across the country along with the work of independent producers and other content creators. Each half-hour episode will explore a particular theme.
With its usual silliness, Sesame Street is introducing serious concepts about nature, science, math and engineering to its target audience of children too young to read.
The president and general manager of the South Bend-Elkhart, Ind., public television station has resigned after 10 years to pursue other opportunities.
Budget cuts have forced noncommercial WHRO Norfolk, Va., to lay off several employees and discontinue two news shows.
To ease the upheaval in public TV in Los Angeles, KOCE, now calling itself PBS SoCal, is allowing other area PBS outlets to air shows and has created a website so viewers can easily find their favorites.
The money will go to stations in 20 markets for the purchase of equipment so they can launch mobile transmission by the end of next year.