Feb 5, 2008

Bush budget includes $20 million for DTV education

The Bush Administration budget includes an extra $20 million for DTV education, Broadcasting & Cable reports. The money would go to the FCC for DTV awareness efforts. In its original DTV transition bill, Congress only set aside $5 million for consumer education, to be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The total $25 million federal outlay "is far too little to educate a nation of 300 million people," said John Dingell (D-Mich), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The government "should not be attempting this transition on the cheap.”

Park City licensee to "spin off" Salt Lake's KCPW

KCPW-FM/AM in Salt Lake is up for sale. The board of Community Wireless of Park City, licensee of Park City's KPCW and sister KCPW, voted unanimously to "spin-off" its Salt Lake stations "in order to better focus its attention on serving its KPCW listeners in Summit and Wasatch Counties," according to a statement issued on Sunday. The board authorized Ed Sweeney, KCPW g.m., to form a new non-profit that would raise money to purchase KCPW's AM and FM outlets, but it will accept offers from other interested nonprofits. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that KCPW has been losing money since 2006.

CPB budget cut follow-up

More on the Bush Administration's proposed cuts to CPB's appropriations: Pubcaster advocate Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) told Broadcasting & Cable that "the Administration’s proposal to slash funding is short-sighted and I fully expect Congress to reject it. " Ken Stern, NPR c.e.o., calls for "renewed support" from the more than 2 million citizens who called lawmakers to complain about the last real funding fight in 2005, citing a recent Pew report that highlighted NPR's growing news offerings. Not all cultural programs fared as poorly as pubcasting--the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Kennedy Center, among others, are slated to receive slight funding bumps, the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, an OMB spokesman tells the Los Angeles Times that "The administration's proposal is consistent with the evolving role of public broadcasting in a marketplace that has benefited from the tremendous growth and diversity of programming."

Bids for Yahoo leave pubcasters little time to work on their "business model problem"

What would a Microsoft (or Google) takeover of Yahoo mean for public TV and radio? It will accelerate the growth of online advertising revenues, and traditional media will lose money so fast, "it will be too late to reinvent yourself then," predicts pubcasting consultant Rob Paterson. Public TV and radio have to move quickly to solve their "business model problem," Paterson writes, by figuring out how to "offer the best content from TV and Radio AND keep the stations whole."

Review: Lives 2 finds poetry in famous family trees

The New York Times gives high marks to African-American Lives 2, the follow-up to Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s celebrity genealogy investigation that aired on PBS in 2006. The four-part series begins Wednesday and, the Times' Felicia R. Lee writes, "belies its sleepy name with the poetry of history, the magic of science and the allure of the family trees of Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock, Tina Turner, Don Cheadle, Tom Joyner and Maya Angelou."