Feb 18, 2010

G4 receives more time to gather digital media comments for FCC

The FCC has granted an extension to APTS, CPB, NPR and PBS for comments on the report, "The Future of Media and Information Needs of Communities in A Digital Age." The deadline, originally March 8, is now May 7. The G4 told the FCC the delay was necessary because of the "wide-ranging nature" of the topics involved. Also, the organizations are planning regional town meetings to solicit viewpoints of community leaders and broadcast station execs. FCC order here (PDF).

FCC presents preview of National Broadband Plan

At a public meeting in Washington today, the FCC previewed part of its upcoming report to Congress on a National Broadband Plan. The focus was the "national purposes" portion of the plan, "designed to support America’s competitive advantages in key sectors of the economy and society," according to an FCC press release (PDF) with details of the presentation (a more specific report, also in PDF, here). The agency discussed potential solutions for challenges in areas including health care technology, education, energy, jobs, public safety and civic engagement. A final report is due to Congress in mid-March.

Bole plans pubmedia get-togethers at SXSW

Rob Bole, CPB's veep of digital media strategy, is working to bring together public media folks at the upcoming SXSW event. "I see an opportunity to help get out of parochial grooves, network, make connections and generally be more collaborative," he told Current in an email. He's gathering a list of interested pubmedia types that he'll redistribute. There'll be a call for "SXSW newbies" with Kevin Dando, director of digital and education communications at PBS. Bole is also planning a Sunday evening social event, a #pubsxsw Twitter hashtag for back-channel communications, and a post-SXSX briefing via WebEx conferencing. Interested? Email Bole at rbole(at), ping him through #pubmedia, direct message to @rbole or sign up online.

Indiana's WNIT lays off eight, outsources several jobs

WNIT Public Television in South Bend, Ind., is letting go eight staffers and restructuring in the wake of a 50 percent drop in state funding, according to the Elkhart Truth newspaper. The station had been studying a restructuring plan but the $200,000 loss moved it more quickly ahead, president and g.m. Mary Pruess told the newspaper. Employees were cut from several departments and levels of seniority. And bookkeeping, accounting, program scheduling and marketing will be outsourced. The state is just one facing a fiscal meltdown that endangers pubcasters (Current, Jan. 25, 2010).