Jun 27, 2008

Signs point to financial crisis at Pacifica

Pacifica’s KPFT-FM in Houston has taken several steps to respond to what are being called “potentially crippling financial situations” throughout the network. KPFT’s board recently passed resolutions asking the Pacifica National Board to discontinue its in-person meetings as a cost-saving measure. The station board also asked Pacifica to allow “ethical sponsorships and underwriting” to boost station income. Pacifica does not now accept underwriting, relying on on-air fund drives for support. In a report to KPFT’s Board June 18, Duane Bradley, g.m., said, “It is the sense of the paid staff that the greatest threats to the network are the huge costs related to elections, national board meetings and lawsuits.” Meanwhile, Free Speech Radio News reports that Pacifica has cut its funding to the progressive news show.

KOCE observes 35th anniversary

On the occasion of its 35th anniversary, KOCE-TV in Orange County, Calif., is considering how it can add to its local coverage, reports the Orange County Register. “We’re not part of an institution like the community college district, we’re not being sued, and we can finally take off and be what the county needs us to be,” says Mel Rogers, g.m.

Takeaway producers search for new, interactive approaches

Fast Company focuses on the startup of public radio’s The Takeaway, which hinged on a collaborative effort with the design school at Stanford University. An observation: “Program directors are people who think of themselves as visionaries and like to be ahead of the curve, but they’re actually extraordinarily risk averse,” says WNYC’s Dean Cappello. (Via the PRPD blog.)

Streaming video of streaming lava

Want to see what molten lava looks like underwater, as it advances toward you on the ocean floor? WNET gives top priority to video on its new website, including an enhanced web experience for Nature fans. Preview the lava scene, shot for a future show on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. Paul Atkins swam into 100-degree water to film it in HD, writes Fred Kaufman, e.p. WNET is keeping the new sites easy to update for program staffers by organizing them in a multi-user version of WordPress, an open-source content management system widely used by bloggers, instead of a more complex CMS, says chief Dan Goldman.