Feb 6, 2009

Pa. governor proposes cutting all public TV funding

The Pennsylvania Public Television Authority would lose all state funding under a budget proposed by state Governor Ed Rendell, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. PPTN provides support services to eight public TV stations in the state and channels about $1 million in state funds to each station. Rendell’s budget would also cut those funds. The agency had already reduced operating costs after a 20 percent cut in support (earlier article in Current). PPTN Chair Tony May says the proposal is “a serious problem for all stations.” George Miles, president of WQED in Pittsburgh, told the Business Times that he does not expect the final state budget to stop short of cutting all funding.

White House wants DTV delay input

The White House is soliciting public comments before President Barack Obama signs into law the DTV transition delay. Comments must be in by Feb. 9, the same deadline day for stations to inform the FCC if they're going to be discontinuing analog transmissions on Feb. 17, the original transition date.

Schiller talks of new approach to local/national web distribution

During her first appearance at a regional pubradio conference, NPR President Vivian Schiller told station executives that should not be perceived as competing with stations, according to PRPD President Arthur Cohen. Addressing station concerns about being "bypassed" by NPR's digital distribution strategies, Schiller described her goal to build a "constellation" of station websites that combine local news with NPR's international and national content. Cohen's blog post from yesterday's Public Radio in Mid America meeting summarizes Schiller's observations after her first month in the job and describes "a refreshing enthusiasm and optimism in her tone."