Oct 5, 2010

WMFE plans two-week furloughs after membership and underwriting don't meet goals

WMFE/Public Media for Central Florida is instituting two-week furloughs for all 35 staffers, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Also, there's also no raises this fiscal year. Station President Jose Fajardo told the paper that membership and corporate underwriting goals are down by $250,000. WMFE is speaking with CPB about its Stations in Severe Financial Distress program, although it has not formally signed on, Fajardo told Current.

KETC/Channel 9 to become Nine Network of Public Media

CPB President Pat Harrison will be in St. Louis on Oct. 12 as KETC/Channel 9 unveils its new brand identity as the Nine Network of Public Media, the station announced today (Oct. 5). It's part of the celebration for the opening of its new digital facility, the Nine Center for Public Engagement. There'll be six interactive demonstration stations in the new building: nineVoices, a website where community members post videos with solutions to local problems; Homeland, an immigration initiative; nineAcademy, digital video storytelling; the Public Insight Network, a site where participants serve as resources for pubmedia news gatherers; and interactive experiences with Nine on Twitter and Facebook. The staff of KETC's news partner St. Louis Beacon, located in the new center, will also be there to discuss their work as a nonprofit online publication (Current, March 30, 2009).

Pubaffairs anchor departing Arizona Public Media for local radio

Bill Buckmaster announced Tuesday (Oct. 5) that he is leaving his the Arizona Illustrated anchor chair after 23 years on Arizona Public Media. His last day is Jan. 1. Two days later, he'll begin a pubaffairs radio show, Buckmaster, on AM 1330 KJLL. The Tucson Citizen website opined, "This will leave a gaping hole in our local television news. His knowledge, experience and professionalism were a far cry from the 'two years and I’m out of here' careers of too many people in our local television news." (Fascinating factoid: Buckmaster is one of only two broadcasters with an asteroid named after him. The other is Walter Cronkite.)

Survey explores whether public wants to have public-funded media

Is public funding of media a good idea? That's what, an open source project to fuel “community powered reporting,” wanted to know. So it did an online survey with assistance from the Reynolds Journalism Institute and Free Press. Just over 400 web users participated to answer, among other things, how media should be financed. Would they support a pubmedia endowment to increase funding for educational programs, arts, and investigative journalism? Overwhelmingly, 84 percent, said yes; 3 percent said no; the rest were undecided. They also would overwhelmingly support (93 percent) the creation of a matching grant program that would combine foundation grants with public funding to support innovation and investment in local news and journalism. Details at MediaShift's Idea Lab.