Feb 11, 2009

More on "Street Gang" Sesame history

Michael Davis has some juicy tidbits in an interview with CNN from his book, "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street." He says Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss, who wrote the show's songs, were locked in an intense creative competition. In fact, he writes, Raposo "fairly seethed with envy" when Moss' "Rubber Duckie" became a Top-20 hit. Davis also says that producer Jon Stone was "the Orson Welles of 'Sesame Street.' ... Without him, the show wouldn't have been what it became."

WSKG extends pledge drive after numbers plummet

WSKG-TV in Vestal, N.Y., is extending its winter pledge drive, reports the Press & Sun-Bulletin. Last week's drive was two-thirds off its goal. Fewer than 250 new or lapsed members signed on, from a goal of 700. Last year, the one-day drive took in nearly $72,000; last week, just $42,000, down some 42 percent. Last year the station went to a one-day pledge format in response to viewers calling for less on-air fundraising. The station met its goal for that previous drive, drawing around 600 new and former members.

Sutton questions CPB analysis of stations' financial health

Revenue shortfalls and reliance on subsidies aren't a new trend for public radio stations, writes pubradio marketing consultant John Sutton. He questions the research behind CPB's recent study on the financial troubles of pubcasting outlets, and says that CPB could have taken steps to address this problem years ago. "Asking the government to help financially strapped stations this year might be the only way to keep those stations from going dark or losing their local identity, as is happening to WMUB in Ohio," Sutton writes. "But becoming more reliant on subsidies is not a long-term solution."