Jan 15, 2010

BNET says San Francisco news hybrid is a no-go; Berkeley dean denies report

The deal to start up a local nonprofit news organization in San Francisco (Current, Oct. 13, 2009) has fallen apart, according a BNET blog report quoting anonymous sources. KQED, the public radio and TV outlet that was to partner with the journalism school of the University of California in Berkeley to launch the organization with backing from philanthropist Warren Hellman, is beset by internal turmoil, reports David Weir, a journalist/blogger and former KQED exec. "Sources have told me that the various parties to the negotiations have not been able to come up with a consensus over how to run the new news organization, and as of today, financier Hellman’s patience has apparently run out." UPDATE: Neil Henry, dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, tells Poynter Institute blogger Jim Romensko: "The Bay Area News Project is alive and well and ready to start business. The first board meeting will be conducted next week. We have secured an outstanding CEO and an extraordinary editor in chief whose names will be announced later this month. The only change since our announcement in September is that KQED will not play a role as a founding partner, but we look forward to its active participation."

Strategies for pubradio audience growth lack priorities, Sutton says

Public radio marketing consultant John Sutton is troubled by the "something for everybody" approach outlined in "Public Radio in the New Network Age," the final report from the CPB-backed Grow the Audience project. "'Do everything' is not a strategy," Sutton writes on his blog. Even if decision-makers follow the report's recommendation to focus resources on stations in the top 50 markets, "the reality is that there aren’t enough resources to serve the objectives listed....Further prioritization is necessary to make smart, effective investments in audience growth." The report, written by the Station Resource Group after an 18-month research and consultation project, is "silent" on how these priorities will be set, Sutton notes. "We believe the difficult decisions about who gets help and who gets left behind should be fully transparent."

Start social networking before disaster strikes

In an interview with BayNewser, Andy Carvin explains how NPR News is using social media to track developments and find sources in Haiti. The network's social media guru also offers some insights about how to cultivate contacts and reliable news sources over time.

PBS stunned at volume of preschoolers' video streaming: 87.5 million streams in month

PBS was expecting online streaming of PBS Kids shows for the 2-5 set to be popular when it started late last year; the usage of shows for older kids, 6-plus, which went online earlier, had fluctuated around 2 million video streams a month. They were not prepared for the tots’ appetite: 87.5 million streams in December. PBS kept mum about the number until the press tour and the NETA Conference this week. Station folk broke into applause Wednesday as PBS education chief Rob Lippincott announced the figure. Streaming of the little kids’ programs rises in the evening as the grownups’ NewsHour grabs the TV sets, he said.