Mar 11, 2010

Fred Rogers Center to host confab on educational technology

More than 60 national leaders in education, research, technology, policy and children’s media will meet March 22 and 23 at the Fred Rogers Center in LaTrobe, Pa., to explore using new technologies and media in education. Representing pubcasting at the Fred Forward Conference on Creative Curiosity, New Media and Learning (PDF) will be CPB, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, PBS and Family Communications Inc., Rogers' production company that carries on the educational legacy of Mister Rogers.

Satellite carriage bill passes Senate, could be law by Easter Congressional break

The Senate yesterday passed the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act. The Association of Public Television Stations had backed passage of the bill, which was known as the Satellite Home Viewer Update and Reauthorization Act when it passed the House on Dec. 3. The bills allow satellite operators to carry out-of-market network TV station signals for viewers who don't receive an adequate signal from their nearby stations. In a statement, APTS President Larry Sidman praised Congressional leadership. “Working together on a bipartisan basis with each other and with their counterparts in the House, they have crafted legislation that serves consumers interests.” Next up: A joint conference committee to hammer out any differences in the bills. The statement added that APTS hopes the bill will be signed into law before the Easter recess.

Reeling from funding losses, WQUB seeks partnership with commercial operator

WQUB in Quincy, Ill., plans to dismiss its professional on-air staff as of June 1 and turn most of its operations over to WGEM, a commercial radio/TV outlet affilated with NBC. Quincy University, WQUB's licensee, is reducing its $250k subsidy for the NPR News and music station but doesn't want to sell it, says Bob Weirather, g.m. "That is not in their mind at all. What we're trying to do is get more community support for the station." The station doesn't qualify for state funding because Quincy is a private university. Last year, it fell out of CPB funding criteria and lost half of its $90,000 Community Service Grant, according to Weirather. It also was disqualified from funding by the Illinois Arts Council. The relationship with WGEM, reported March 9 by the Quincy-Herald Whig, is under negotiation, but Wierather expects that WGEM's talent will announce programming and student interns will continue to host air-shifts. "Our programming will be unchanged, but the voices may be different," Weirather said. "We will still determine the programming and content." WQUB's 28,000-watt signal broadcasts to rural western Illinois and northeastern Missouri, reaching a potential audience of 119,000.