Mar 19, 2009

Updates on new Native stations at Native Radio Summit

Reps from 30 Native public radio groups with new FCC construction permits for stations are invited to Native Public Media's annual Native Radio Summit, April 1 at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters Conference in Portland, Ore. Native Public Media will make presentations on its New Horizons Project, which is assessing how Native stations serve their communities, and its Blueprint Project, which will assist the new licensees. NFCB Conference details at Native Public Media: Contact: Camille Lacapa, Network Services Manager at clacapa (at) or 602-810-8193.

Next round of budget cuts includes reduced compensation for NPR execs, negotiations with unions

In meetings with the NPR staff today, President Vivian Schiller announced that a new round of budget cuts is needed to meet revised revenue forecasts for 2009 and 2010. In addition to discretionary cuts made last week (including the cancellation of some newspaper subscriptions) NPR has reduced executive compensation by more than $500,000, according to Dana Davis Rehm, senior v.p. "The cuts that we made in December are not sufficient to cover what we need to do now," Rehm said, describing "pressure on every single one of our revenue sources" and worries about the financial condition of stations. NPR management suspended contributions to retirement plans of all NPR executives from April 1 - Sept. 30. In addition, v.p.s at all levels will forgo salary increases this year and next and work without pay during the last payroll of 2009, Rehm said. Next week management enters negotiations over how the cutbacks will affect its unionized workforce. Rehm declined to specify how much NPR seeks reduce its spending under its revised forecast, but anticipates "fast track" decision-making and an announcement by early May. "I don’t want to float numbers publicly until I feel they’re very solid," she said.

CPB seeks nominations for its top award for public TV leadership

March 27 is the deadline for nomination for the Ralph Lowell Award, named for the late founder of WGBH. Questions to Kimberly Bowser at CPB, 202-879-9668. More information posted online.

Newspaper columnist to NPR: if you don't subscribe, why should we pledge?

After reading a memo leaked to Romenesko about NPR canceling its newspaper subscriptions, Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green fired off a terse blog entry that concluded, "Memo to self: cancel pledges to WFCR and WNPR." And you can imagine the chain of reactions that set off. WNPR's John Dankosky reported on the controversy, and appears to have defused it, here.