Oct 20, 2009

PMI awards more economic project funds

The Public Media Innovation Fund today announced Round Four funding. Total grants of $205,000 for economic and financial literacy projects went to KQED in San Francisco; WPSU in University Park, Penn.; Maryland Public Television; KNBA in Anchorage; Wisconsin Education Communications Board; KUEN in Salt Lake City; and North Country Public Radio in Canton, N.Y. Details on their project here.

Kennedy Center head hits PBS for lack of arts coverage

Where is the arts programming on PBS? So asks Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, on Huffington Post. He laments that arts programs are costly, and "come only from stations that can afford to create this programming, meaning those with strong fundraising operations. And far too few of the local stations do have strong fundraising operations." He favors a fundamental change for PBS: "Why can't the parent organization determine the best in American arts and fund its broadcast across the nation? And, he adds, CPB has the clout to make that happen. A PBS arts initiative was mentioned at Showcase in May (Current, May 29, 2009), which would create a weekly arts night of shows.

New WiFi radio tailored for pubradio listeners

NPR unveiled the first-ever Internet radio to offer an exclusive menu of NPR stations and programs. The "NPR Radio," modeled on an earlier WiFi radio by Livio that optimizes Pandora's music streaming service, allows NPR fans to switch between over-the-air broadcasts of local stations, online streams of more than 1,000 NPR outlets across the country, and on-demand content from More than 16,000 Internet radio stations not affiliated with NPR also are accessible on the device, offered for $199 from the NPR Shop and Livio Radio. Gadget reviews by Wired and CNET poke fun at the radio's accessibility features for the technology averse. "[I]t should pass the 'granny test' in ease of use, and it looks like a friendly radio and not a scary, virus-catching computer," Wired's reviewer writes.