Feb 19, 2010

25 seats open in Producers Academy at WGBH

Next summer's annual weeklong CPB/PBS Producers Academy, led by top TV production specialists, will accept applications through Tuesday, March 23, 5 p.m. Experienced indie and station-based producer/writer/directors are eligible for scholarships that cover the cost of the workshops, room and board in Boston, June 19-25. Details and app form are online at
Questions go to PBS and CPB, not WGBH: Kathryn Lo of PBS and Angie Palmer of CPB.

NPR gets high rating for construction bonds

Preparing for a bond issue this spring to finance construction of its new headquarters, NPR got a vote of confidence from two of the big-three bond rating agencies, the network said in a news release yesterday. Standard & Poor’s gave NPR an AA- rating and Moody’s gave it a comparable Aa3. Both are high-grade ratings, the fourth of 20 or more grades. Last March, NPR bought the site seven blocks east of its present home and is planning a new seven-story, 330,000-square-foot structure incorporating about two-thirds of an old historic-landmarked warehouse. NPR plans to break ground next fall and occupy the building by mid-2013.

FCC kicks off inquiry into future of news

The FCC officially launched its inquiry into future news and information needs of communities at its meeting in Washington yesterday, Broadcasting & Cable reports. Steve Waldman (right), special adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, has been working for several months to assemble a cross-agency team and begin gathering information. The first formal group workshop will be March 4. Waldman said that discussion would be TV and radio stations, adding that there had been a "newspaper centrism" to past media discussions.

Florida bill would allow state money to non-CPB funded stations

A bill in the Florida Legislature would amend a statute that limits state money for public broadcasting only to stations under the purview of CPB. It adds “nondenominational television stations licensed by the FCC as full-power educational broadcast stations”as eligible for funding via the State Board of Education. “What this bill would do is open it up to a larger group of licensees,” said Sandra Ceseretti, g.m. of WSRE at Pensacola Junior College. “It could be community or perhaps religious licensees that are nondenominational. It would take the current infrastructure and grow it, perhaps to another 200 new licensees." As the college's newspaper, the Corsair, reports, that could dilute funding to existing stations, causing problems WSRE. The station has already had cutbacks and layoffs as a result of a deficit last year.