Mar 24, 2009

Another college station looking for a new operator

Oregon Public Broadcasting may take over operations of KMHD, a jazz and NPR News station in Gresham, Ore., under a partnership agreement negotiated with Mt. Hood Community College, KMHD licensee. The college, which proposes to transfer operations to OPB on July 1, anticipates state funding cuts of at least $4 million in 2009-10, according to MHCC President John J. Sygielski. Transferring the station's operations to OPB "is one of the areas where we can reduce costs without compromising a music institution that is important to the College and the community,” Sygielski said. OPB intends to continue operating KMHD as a jazz station.

Masterpiece wins "Conscience" award from Emmy academy

The PBS series Masterpiece has won a Television with a Conscience award last week for its God on Trial program. The honor is from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the group that presents the Emmys. This is the first such award for a PBS show, according to the network. Seven other programs on commercial networks and premium channels also received awards. God on Trial is a fictional account of a group of Auschwitz prisoners debating the goodness of God, a co-production of Hat Trick Productions Ltd. and WGBH.

NewsHour starts up Global Health Unit

NewsHour has launched a Web site for its new Global Health Watch Unit. This week the show began a three-part series on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in South Africa. The new unit is funded by a $3.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Idaho pubTV digital signal coverage in jeopardy

PBS viewers in several areas of Idaho are in danger of losing Idaho Public Television's signal. A state legislative committee just rejected a proposed $150,000 in matching grants for federal funds that would have paid for translators to eliminate the holes in digital coverage, which includes parts of Boise. " ... at this point, I’m not sure what were going to do as we don’t have match money,” g.m. Peter Morrill said.

More pubradio fundraising specials in the works

The pubradio marketing consultants who produced the end-of-year fundraising special "The Best of Public Radio 2008" plan to create a "best-of" summer show that will take pledges via a national toll-free number, according to this project report from John Sutton & Associates. For a 2009 year's end special to be broadcast in December, the project hopes to incorporate text giving. A follow-up survey of contributors to the December 2008 fundraiser found that the more ways an individual listens to public radio, including online listening to more than one station, the more likely he or she is to contribute.

Lehrer's 19th novel now in stores

PBS newsman Jim Lehrer's 19th novel, Oh, Johnny (Random House), goes on sale today. In an interview with USA Today, Lehrer details his writing technique, which involves checking into hotel rooms in his hometown of Wichita, Kan.

Pubradio weekly audience approaches 33 million

The cumulative weekly audience for NPR programming and newscasts grew 7 percent to 27.5 million listeners last fall, according to an NPR news release announcing record-setting growth in just-released Arbitron ratings for Fall 2008. Total listening to NPR stations reached 32.7 million, a 6 percent increase. All Things Considered boosted its weekly cume to 13 million listeners, a 15 percent increase from Fall 2007, and nearly 14 million listeners tuned into Morning Edition each week, a 9 percent increase. In the Washington Post's story on NPR's Fall 2008 numbers, the weekly cume of 23.6 million listeners reported for all NPR programs excludes listeners to NPR newscasts, according to an NPR spokeswoman.