Jun 25, 2009

KCET confirms layoffs, cost cuts

KCET has detailed to Current its recent cutbacks. Station President Al Jerome said in an emailed statement that a total of 12 full-time and part-time employees are eliminated, including two senior staffers. There'll be salary reductions of 3.5 percent to 11.7 percent based on current salaries; those affect only exempt employees and senior management. Nonexempt employees will instead have furloughs of one, five or 10 days during fiscal 2010, based on salary range. Employer retirement plan contributions are suspended indefinitely. Jerome cited reasons including a fiscal 2010 budget projected to be $5 million less than this year, as well as the station's PBS dues, which, he said, have increased by 40 percent over the past four years.

If you're a media maker, try for a grant

New application deadlines and other details for America's Media Makers: Development and Production grants are now available online through the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Public Programs website. The division funds adio, television and digital projects in the humanities intended for public audiences that "explore stories, ideas, and beliefs that deepen our understanding of our lives and our world." Try to apply early at; it's recently been slowed by a large number of applications. The next two deadlines for the grants are Aug. 26 and Jan. 13, 2010.

WPSU at Penn State ends two shows, trims eight positions

Penn State Public Broadcasting WPSU is canceling two TV programs and reducing the staff by eight positions. Gone are Scholastic Scrimmage, a high-school quiz show, and Common Ground Lobby Talks, an audience-participation public affairs offering. While the station faces potential state funding losses of $850,000 if Gov. Ed Rendell's budget passes, "that is only the most severe and immediate challenge; we must also confront the potential reduction of other revenue sources,” said Ted Krichels, associate vice president for Penn State Outreach and general manager of WPSU. "Those include community support and production revenue." The station's 2008 project, Liquid Assets, (Current, Sept. 29, 2008), an examination of America's crumbling water infrastructure, received widespread critical acclaim.