May 7, 2009

President's proposed FY10 budget axes rural pubcasting grants

President Obama's fiscal 2010 budget, delivered to Congress today, has targeted rural public broadcasting grants of $5 million for elimination. In a White House blog posting, Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote: "The USDA made these grants to support rural public broadcasting stations' conversion to digital broadcasting. That transition is now almost complete." Here is the president's letter to Congress on the budget. CPB, PBS, NPR and APTS issued a joint statement this afternoon praising the president's recommendation of $502 million for CPB. More on pubcasting's budget requests in this February Current story.

Kangas leaving Nightly Business Report

After a 30-year run, Nightly Business Report co-anchor Paul Kangas is stepping down. WPBT, the PBS station in Miami that produces “Nightly Business Report,” plans to announce his departure today, according to The New York Times. His co-anchor, Susie Gharib, will continue on the program. Producers have begun a search for a replacement. “I’m not retiring,” Kangas said in a statement. “Business news is what I know and it’s what I am. So I plan to stay involved through speaking engagements, guest commentaries, television appearances and consultation. NBR has a fine nucleus of young talent that works hard to secure the tough interviews and tell the important stories. These people ‘get it’ and I have no doubt they will carry on with aplomb.” Here's a recent Current story about the show's coverage of the financial crisis.

CBC repackages "Outfront" for PRX offer

Public Radio Exchange and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are offering hour-long versions of Outfront, an award-winning CBC Radio series of personal essays that previously had been distributed as extended modules. Producers Neil Sandell and Marieke Meyer have created a package of six programs, combining the best works into thematic shows hosted by the CBC's Natasha Fatah. There may be more CBC programming to come from PRX. In a news release, PRX describes the offer as a "content development project."

Eight projects backed in final round of Makers Quest

Makers Quest 2.0 has unveiled the eight audio-centric new media projects that received backing to complete production by August. The Association of Independents in Radio, which is managing the CPB-backed initiative, paired each of the producers with public radio stations or networks that will "incubate" the projects for broadcast and other distribution. The initiative began last fall with a nomination round in which 30 independent producers were invited to submit proposals.