Mar 5, 2011

Classical WSMR in Sarasota still experiencing signal problems

Tampa-based WUSF bought WSMR for $1.2 million last year to shift its classical music to the Sarasota station and offer daytime NPR programming (Current, Aug. 9, 2010). But technical delays and interference issues delayed the station's full-power debut from Sept. 15 to Feb. 22 — and even now, signal woes continue, reports the St. Petersburg Times. Some listeners to the south still can't receive the signal through the static. Nancy Preis, board member of the Florida Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Opera, still can't receive the programming. "I consider this to be a major screwup," she said. JoAnn Urofsky, g.m. at WUSF, said that the station couldn't warn the public as the deal progressed. "Had we said anything, we would have jeopardized the business deal," said Urofsky, noting WUSF didn't finalize the sale until Oct. 22. "We had to redesign a station almost from scratch because of the condition we found it." There are plans for a translator, but that may not solve all the problems.

World TV and continue to aim for younger, diverse viewers

The World TV channel, launched in 2007, re-imagined over the past couple years (Current, Sept. 8, 2009) and relaunched last year (Current, June 7, 2010), continues to evolve in its quest to lure younger viewers to its PBS documentary programming and website, reports the MediaShift blog. "Currently, a majority of our viewers are your usual PBS demo of 50- to 60-year-olds," said Matey Odonkor,'s manager of online communications. "Not that this is a bad thing." However, "we want to offer age-relevant programming to young adults who grew up watching PBS programs with their parents but stopped watching." wants to engage 30- to 45-year-olds as well as the coveted 18- to 34-year-old demographic. It's featuring several bloggers including the edgy Hari Kondabolu, an up-and-coming comic who recently starred in a Comedy Central Presents special. His videoblogging for WorldCompass is "more intimate and personal than his stand-up but no less funny," MediaShift notes. So far has 285 fans on Facebook, 96 Twitter followers and a YouTube channel with 44 subscribers. "While these numbers are small, the staff is experimenting with ways to increase them," MediaShift says.