Feb 28, 2011

KNPB in northern Nevada loses signal in fire

Weekend snow and ice storms contributed to the cause of a fire that knocked out several channels from KNPB in northern Nevada. Viewers still can't access 5.1 HD, the standard digital channel, Create on 5.2 or V-me on 5.3. The blaze, which destroyed a filter system in the transmitter, was discovered at 9 p.m. local time Sunday, during the premiere of Stewards of the Rangeland, a new KNPB production focusing on livestock management strategies. "KNPB engineering staff are working with the transmitter manufacturer to replace damaged parts, returning the signal as soon as possible," a Monday (Feb. 28) release from the station said.

Director of "Helvetica," "Objectified" docs now crowdfunding "Urbanized"

Gary Hustwit, director of "Helvetica" and "Objectified" on Independent Lens, is crowdfunding his latest project, "Urbanized." He's launched the funding drive on Kickstarter with a goal of $85,000 by March 23; as of Feb. 28, he has about $42,000. Hustwit and a his team are now editing, with post-production this summer on the documentary examining urban design. Donors can fork over from $10 to $5,000 for nifty perks: At the $2,000 level, it's two VIP tickets to the world premiere, dinner that evening with Hustwit and members of the cast and crew, a "special thanks" in the film's credits, 10 DVDs, two DVD box sets, two T-shirts and a set of the limited-edition prints. So far two donors will be enjoying all that.

Vote on Continuing Resolution probably put off until at least mid-March

The threat of a government shutdown apparently has been avoided until at least March 18, reports the Washington Post. Senate Democrats on Friday (Feb. 25) tentatively accepted a Republican plan to cut $4 billion in federal spending that President Obama has already targeted for elimination. CPB funding was zeroed out in the Continuing Resolution the House passed along to the Senate earlier this month (Current, Feb. 22).

Announcement coming soon on Alaska pubcasting merger

Alaska public broadcasting stations could merge as soon as next month, according to today's (Feb. 28) Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. The stations, including KUAC in Fairbanks, KTOO in Juneau, KYUK in Bethel and Alaska Public Telecommunications in Anchorage, have been in talks for two years. Those discussions were sparked by mounting financial problems that prompted layoffs and reductions in local programming starting in 2009. A committee has been hearing input from residents in communities that would be affected. General managers are not involved in discussions, "since their jobs or those of their employees could be affected," the paper says. CPB supplied an $88,000 consulting grant. The proposed model could be unveiled in early March.