Jan 25, 2010

Idaho PTV makes its case against phaseout of aid

On Wednesday, Idaho Public Television chief Peter Morrill makes his case for continued state aid in a state legislative finance committee hearing at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time. Like many other legislative meetings, it will be streamed live on IPT's Idaho Legislature Live. Friends of Idaho Public Television, a nonprofit support group for the state-owned network, has created a webpage, "Save Idaho Public Television," to get viewers involved in its fight against a four-year total phaseout of state funding. The station’s $7 million budget counts on nearly $2 million from the state. If Gov. C.L. Otter’s proposed budget passes, that would disappear in equal portions over the next four years.Of the station's $7 million budget, around $2 million is state aid. Peter Morrill, g.m., is facing remedies such as laying off 19 staffers, closining three studios, and discontinuing maintenance to 39 of 40 rural translators and translator relays.

Innovator Rob Bole contemplates pubmedia use of electronics trends

On his personal blog, Public Purpose Media, Rob Bole, CPB veep for digital media strategies, delves into how pubcasting can and should adopt innovations he saw at the recent International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "Public media needs an innovation agenda," he writes. "It needs to be clear, rational and focused on providing short- and medium-term value to the system and the consumer. The good news is that this is not hard. The bad news is that we have to change our ways, especially how we collaborate to get it done." Specific ideas: PubTV should enhance the "value and utility" of programming by developing widgets, especially with set-top box manufacturers like Boxee. Also, invest in educational gaming. Create interactive content for multiple platforms; he calls that "an opportunity for low costs and high returns."Increase accessibility to archived content. His suggestions for doing all this include reallocating resources to create an annual $10 million dollar public media innovation development fund, and creating a Public Media Research & Development Council. Bole notes on the blog it "reflects his own personal opinions."

Haiti telethon sets record with $58 million in donations so far

"Help for Haiti Now," the worldwide telethon for earthquake relief that ran on many stations including PBS last Friday night, has raised $58 million so far, reports the Eurweb news site. That's a record for donations to a disaster relief telethon, it noted. The figure will go higher: Yet to be tallied are donations by corporations or via iTunes. Users can contribute by purchasing performance recordings of the telethon for 99 cents, or the entire album for $7.99.