Mar 7, 2011

Ron Schiller exiting NPR for Aspen Institute

NPR Foundation President Ron Schiller has taken a new job as director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program and Harman-Eisner Artist-in-Residence Program. Schiller, who joined NPR in September 2009, worked to build fundraising collaborations between NPR and member stations through projects such as Impact of Government. Schiller starts his new position on April 1, and will work out of the Institute's offices in Aspen, Colo., where he has lived on at least a part-time basis since 2006.

WNET hopes for $40,000 for guitar autographed by Keith Richards

WNET/Thirteen has a unique fundraising offer: A guitar autographed by Rolling Stones legendary musician Keith Richards. "To show his personal support of music programming on New York Public Television, he has generously donated an autographed Midnight Wine Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar," it reports on its Inside Thirteen blog. Add it to your collection for a "generous donation" of $40,000.

"Like public broadcasting, Keith Richards is a towering original, who continues to walk his own path, speak his mind, and do his own thing," the blog adds.

Watch Schiller's speech to National Press Club at 1 p.m. today

UPDATE: Text of the speech is online here.

NPR President Vivian Schiller's speech to the National Press Club is being live-streamed here starting at 1 p.m. Eastern today (March 7). From the Press Club's release: "As NPR celebrates its 40th anniversary, listening to public radio is at an all-time high and the audience for NPR’s digital services has sky-rocketed. In a keynote speech today at the National Press Club, Schiller will address the powerful journalism at the root of public radio’s mission – evident no more so than in recent weeks of continuous coverage from the Middle East – and NPR’s vision for the future. Schiller will speak to how NPR and its member stations are meeting the dire need to provide all Americans with broad, free access to news and cultural programming by aggressively expanding reporting, launching new radio and digital initiatives – and growing audience as a result."

APTS' Butler calls effort to defund CPB a "mortal threat"

Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations advocacy group, calls the Congressional attempts to de-fund CPB a "mortal threat" in today's (March 7) USA Today. He also notes that the $430 million reduction in aid would do little to reduce the $1.6 trillion federal deficit. He tells the paper that APTS has hired two lobbying firms, and that its 170 Million Americans outreach has generated some 300,000 notes to Congress. (More on 170 Million Americans in the Dec. 13, 2010, issue of Current.)

Give pubcasting three more years of funding to migrate to Internet-only, digital wonk says

Shelly Palmer, host of NBC's Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour show about living and working in a digital world, writes on his blog that public broadcasting needs just three more years of government funding to see it through to its next incarnation. "I have listened (and been drawn into) many cocktail conversations debating whether or not Public Broadcasting should be an Internet-only service," he says. Now is the time for that decision, he contends. "Would an online, broadband, app-centric, wireless, wired, fixed wireless, over-the-top, IPTV, Internet-Television, 4G, WiMax, Digital Tier ATSC, MSO Public Channel, LPTV, Web, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Social Media-ized version of Public Broadcasting work?" he ponders. "If it can’t – then the content and the concept is not worthy of survival." Palmer also is a six-time Emmy nominee for his "Hi-Tech" TV specials for Fox 5 in New York.