May 13, 2010

Pending Kansas budget may slice pubcasting dollars by more than 50 percent

More than half of the state public broadcasting grants in Kansas will be gone if Gov. Mark Parkinson signs the 2011 budget just okayed by the legislature, reports the Wichita Eagle. The proposal cuts $900,000 of the $1.6 million in funding. If the governor approves, "2011's operating budget for most public broadcasting stations in Kansas looks grim," noted the paper. Especially hard hit would be Smoky Hills Public Television in Bunker Hill, which receives 15 percent of its budget from the state. At High Plains Public Radio in Garden City, a 10 percent cut. Wichita's KPTS counts on 12 percent of its $2.7 budget from the state. If the governor signs the budget, cuts take effect July 1. "That gives us just six weeks to come up with the funds," said Lynn Meredith, Smoky Hills PubTV CEO. "Some of the programs require 90 days' notice and expect payment even if we no longer show them."

Proffitt leaves KETC after two months

Pubcaster/blogger John Proffitt (see item below), who departed Alaska for KETC in March, has left the St. Louis station. He'd worked there as director of digital engagement, "but from the get-go I had several intuitions things weren’t quite right, at least for me."

Mobile DTV is DOA, pubcasting blogger opines

"I have nothing technically against mobile DTV," writes pubcaster John Proffitt on his Gravity Medium blog. "It’s a significant achievement in that sense. But I can’t see how it makes it big in this mediasphere. The stars are aligned against it. It’s Dead On Arrival." People out-and-about use video in limited ways, he says. Spectrum savings are meaningless. Technology is changing to quickly for mobile DTV to keep up. After making his argument he adds: "Given this analysis, all I can do is hope public TV people out there avoid spending too much time or money on this distraction." Meanwhile, the Open Mobile Video Coalition, which includes public broadcasters, launched its consumer trial earlier this month in Washington, D.C. WHUT at Howard University is one of nine area stations offering viewers a chance to get a look at broadcasts on a variety of mobile devices. Meanwhile, WGBH's mobile DTV is now up and running (Current, March 26); it's the first pubcasting station to offer the service.