Three powerful congressional chairmen who support public broadcasting will continue in their key roles in both the House and Senate.
TRAC Media Services is starting a deep dive into the demographics of local public television audiences with software that reveals details previously unseen by station programmers and general managers. With a one-year $369,000 grant from CPB, the Tucson, Ariz.–based researcher is examining public TV’s minority audiences, viewers by dayparts and digital-channel cumes.
Executives from more than 100 public television stations have participated in three webinars about the upcoming spectrum auction, CPB directors were told at a board meeting Tuesday. And 22 stations have applied for a total of $658,000 in assistance from a $3 million CPB pool to help them research the ramifications of participating in the auction, scheduled for next year.
Broadcast TV in the U.S. will undergo two big changes in the next few years, and a clash in the timeline for those shifts promises big problems for pubic TV stations. In an ideal world, the transformation would take place in a single step. When stations are repacked to new channels as part of the FCC’s spectrum auction, they’d also switch from today’s ATSC 1.0 system to the new ATSC 3.0 system. In reality, the next steps are likely to be much more complicated, and potentially much more expensive as well.
CPB will review its television Community Service Grant policies to clarify how to handle station revenues from the upcoming spectrum auction.
Another suitor has taken preliminary steps in the courtship of PBS affiliate KMBH Harlingen, Texas. Don Dunlap, president-GM of KEDT, the PBS outlet in Corpus Christi, says his station is “eager to explore all options” and has had “a number of conference calls” on the subject of KMBH’s proposed sale.
The head of the Seattle noncommercial outlet resigned Thursday, citing family issues. Rob Dunlop, EVP of operations at Fisher Communications in Seattle, will lead the station on an interim basis.
Virginia’s Community Idea Stations — WCVE-TV-FM and WCVW-TV Richmond and WHTJ-TV Charlottesville — on Friday (April 20) announced elimination of 11 positions, about 18% of its workforce, before the end of June.
A divided U.S. appeals court struck down a federal ban on political advertising on public TV and radio stations, a decision that could open the public airwaves to a heavy dose of campaign ads leading up to the November elections.
Charlotte, N.C.’s struggling public TV station and Central Piedmont Community College are in preliminary talks about joining forces to keep WTVI on the air. Last year, the station — whose financial condition has turned perilous since the recession began to grip Charlotte in 2008 — ran a deficit of about $300,000. Fundraising is lagging by a couple hundred thousand dollars at the midpoint of this fiscal year, WTVI President Elsie Garner said Wednesday.