May 3, 2011

PBS, NPR score a total of 10 Webbys

The 2011 Webby Awards from the the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences were announced today (May 3), and pubcasters made a strong showing. PBS won two Webbys and two People's Voice honors, and NPR won two Webbys and four People's Voices.

PBS won in the categories of entertainment/tablets and all other devices; charitable organizations/nonprofit; and religion and spirituality. NPR won for news, politics, podcasts and news/hand-held devices.

A full list is here.

Virginia governor vetoes funding for pubcasting

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has used a line-item veto to cut the commonwealth's funding for public broadcasting, calling it “a smart, practical budgeting decision to make Virginia government smaller and more efficient and save taxpayer dollars,” the Roanoke Times reports today (May 3). The move reduces support that lawmakers had approved for educational programming and radio reading services by $424,000, or about 16 percent, in the fiscal year beginning July 1. Total funding for Virginia public broadcasting has been cut by about 25 percent since last year, according to the governor’s office. Pubcasters in several other states also face funding hurdles in their legislatures (Current, April 18).

NPR's 40th birthday bash includes free ice-pops for D.C. fans

Happy 40th birthday, NPR and All Things Considered! There are all kinds of nifty opportunities to congratulate the pubradio network today (May 3), from Facebook greetings to an organized Tweet wave. Also, if you happen to be in D.C., stop by headquarters (635 Massachusetts Ave. NW) at 2 p.m. for a free frozen goodie from the Pleasant Pops truck. And don't miss the archival photos of all those years ago.

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Classical KING-FM in Seattle goes noncommercial

Seattle's Classical KING-FM has transitioned from commercial to noncom, according to local news site In preparation for the shift to listener-supported operations, KING-FM has raised about $1 million of a $2 million campaign. Late last week, the station announced a $250,000 challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is now looking to secure $750,000 from KING-FM listeners to reach its goal. The station's first on-air pledge drive comes later this month. Declining ratings when Portable People Meters hit the market in 2009 led to challenges with advertising and sparked the change, which was announced last March.

WDUQ-FM sale moves ahead

The sale of Pittsburgh's WDUQ-FM/90.5 advanced on Monday (May 2) when Essential Public Media and Duquesne University formalized an asset purchase agreement, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. EPM is a partnership between another local public radio station, WYEP-FM, and Public Media Co., a nonprofit based in Boulder, Colo., that was formed by Public Radio Capital. WYEP board President Marco Cardamone said the partners plan to file documents with the Federal Communications Commission soon, which will trigger a 30-day public comment period. They had announced the sale earlier this year (Current, Jan. 24, 2011).