Mar 10, 2010

Pubmedia Chatters stifled by 140 characters now have Google Group

A Google group for pubmedia collaboration has sprung from the ongoing Pubmedia Chat Tweetfests on Monday evenings. Chris Beer, a web developer with WGBH Interactive, created the group to provide room for communication without a 140 character limit, he tells MediaShift. "I'm not particularly attached to the idea of a Google Group or a listserv, I just see a need for more collaboration outside of Monday at 8," Beer said. "Twitter is a fine medium for getting people talking, but I find it difficult to have a conversation, and I hope something like this can supplement the #pubmedia chat. I haven't found a place within public media to ask very practical questions around public media projects. Because setting something up takes all of five minutes, it seems silly not to experiment."

Madeleine Brand to helm new KPCC show

Pasadena's KPCC hired Madeleine Brand to host a new daily news magazine launching later this spring. The yet-to-be named show will bring a "distinctive Southern California perspective" to local and regional news and launch with a significant online component, according to a KPCC release. Brand, co-host of NPR's Day to Day until its cancellation last year, "has tremendous intellectual bandwidth, but doesn't take herself too seriously," said Bill Davis, KPCC president. The one-hour show will air at 9 a.m. PT, replacing BBC NewsHour. "Even though I'm part British and love the BBC, I think we need a little more California in that 9 am hour, and I'm excited to bring it," Brand said. On her twitter feed this morning, Brand quipped: Conan writers: Talk to me!

House committee approves bill to extend spectrum inventory deadline

The FCC and National Telecommunications and Information Administration would have four years instead of two to complete a spectrum inventory under a bill okayed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee today, reports Broadcasting & Cable. Rep. Rick Boucher, House Communications and Internet Subcommittee chairman and bill co-sponsor, has said he expects the FCC to wait until after the inventory to request or reclaim spectrum from broadcasters to meet growing demands for mobile device bandwidth. Any spectrum auction would leave pubcasters with a tough decision: Money soon, or frequency opportunities later (Current, Feb. 8).

"War room" was integral to Detroit PubTV's capital campaign efforts

A "war room" with white boards, dollar amounts and donor name targets helped Detroit Public Television/WTVS close out its 2009 $22 million capital campaign, station v.p. of development Kelley Hamilton revealed at a local nonprofit seminar this week. “In addition to the larger foundations, we had to go to the indigenous population of family foundations, largely unknown,” Board Chair Richard Rassel told Crain's Detroit Business. To encourage smaller donations, the station provided naming opportunities for everything from a light switch to the COO’s white board, cameras and editorial suites.

Idaho PTV dodges state funding phase-out

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee of the Idaho legislature yesterday voted 19-0 to cut only 16 percent of Idaho Public Television's state funding, according to Associated Press. Gov. Butch Otter had previously sought a four-year total phaseout of funding. More good news: A House proposal would increase tax credits to IPTV and other agencies. “This would give more opportunity for donations, especially at the higher giving level, to see some positive tax credit,” IPTV G.M. Peter Morrill told the Idaho Reporter. The current limit for a tax credit is $100, that would increase to $500. The average gift to IPTV is $90.

NewsHour gets CPB grant for Student Reporting Lab

CPB has given the PBS NewsHour a $300,000 grant for a Student Reporting Lab project in six schools nationwide, reports Television Broadcast. From last month through January 2011, NewsHour journalists are providing footage, sources and mentors to the students, who will report on three topics. Their work will run on the NewsHour website and YouTube. A statement from NewsHour said the project will "examine how broadband connectivity, open-source platforms, and public media can help to produce an informed and engaged public."

South Dakota pubcasting faces 2 percent state funding cut

South Dakota is the latest state threatening cutbacks to pubcasting as part of overall budget tightening. A 2 percent cut to South Dakota Public Broadcasting might mean the loss of matching federal funds next year, according to the Argus Leader. The state budget is expected to run $36 million to $40 million; the Republican-led legislature has proposed $52.6 million in cuts and new revenues. The budget is scheduled to be finished today for consideration by the full Senate and House on Thursday or Friday. Pubcasters nationwide are facing similar cuts in state funding (Current, Jan. 25).