Jul 28, 2010

KCET lays off 13

At an all-station meeting in Los Angeles Tuesday (July 27), KCET staffers were told that 13 employees are being laid off. Cuts come from across several departments, and at least one vice president is affected. In June 2009, KCET cut 12 full-time and part-time staffers and announced furloughs and pay cuts. The station also dropped its 45-year-old program guide that month, citing financial reasons.

LJCs launch in Upper Midwest, Florida

Two of the local journalism centers backed by CPB in April are up and running. "Changing Gears," helmed by New York Times veteran Micheline "Micki" Maynard, has launched its website and a blog pointing readers to coverage from the three partner stations, Chicago's WBEZ, Michigan Radio, and Cleveland's ideastream., a collaboration of five public stations in central Florida, has hired Jennifer Molina to lead its editorial team. Launch plans for additional LJCs are still pending; Fronteras, the largest collaboration to be announced so far, is recruiting a social media editor for its project covering immigration and border issues in the Southwest.

Working group begins planning PBS national online giving initiative

PBS is moving ahead with its national online giving campaign, a topic of much conversation within the system (Current, June 7, 2010). The working group recently met for preliminary talks. Station reps include Tim Olson, veep of digital media and education at KQED; Kelly McCullough, g.m. at Eight/Arizona PBS; Joe Krushinsky, veep of institutional advancement at MPT; Ken Yanhs, director of WGBH Online; Michal Heiplik, director of membership at Houston PBS; Shane Guiter, KLRU's director of development in Austin, Texas; Robert Altman, president of WMHT in Troy, N.Y., with David Preston, Twin Cities Public TV membership manager, speaking for the Development Advisory Council.

And fear not: Despite rumors of the DAC's demise, it's still up and running. DAC and PBS continue to mold its future role with the network, which is evolving in the wake of four positions eliminated in PBS Development as of June 15. Those staffers had specialized in several aspects of station fundraising.

PBS recently hired Carol Sorber as its director of professional development; she'd held similar positions at several law firms. According to a PBS internal memo, she will "coordinate our professional development offerings to stations and develop a leadership training curriculum." Sorber reports to Thomas Crockett, veep of station services.