Mar 30, 2011

KCET reportedly in talks to sell studio property to Church of Scientology

KCET is in negotiations to sell its Sunset Boulevard studios to the Church of Scientology, the Los Angeles Times is reporting. Real estate brokers tell the newspaper that the station plans to move to a smaller location, and officials have been touring potential sites. The historic 4.5 acre site has been assessed at $14.1 million. Both KCET and Scientology officials declined comment to the paper.

KCET's lot is at 4401 W. Sunset Blvd.; the Church of Scientology Los Angeles is four blocks away, at 4810.

Meanwhile, LA Weekly's Media blog quotes a KCET insider as saying that its top execs are "going to leave the station burning and destroyed and walk away with money falling out of their pockets ... It's a scandal ... They only thing they're not dismantling is their own salaries ... this is really sad."

KCET dropped its PBS membership as of Jan. 1, in a dispute with the network over dues and overlap issues, and is now the largest independent pubTV station in the country. It continues to struggle with sinking ratings and fundraising numbers.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting shoots (video) and scores!

A South Dakota Public Broadcasting video has gone viral with more than half a million views, thanks to a spectacular heave-ho, half-court basketball shot during a fifth-place playoff game between Pierre and Sturgis high schools last week. Yahoo! Sports proclaims that it deserves consideration for "basket of the year" honors.

Latino Public Broadcasting hires Sandie Viquez Pedlow as new director

Sandie Viquez Pedlow takes over as executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting on July 6, according to an announcement today (March 30). In February, Patricia Boero, who led the group for three years, announced she needed to return home to Uruguay this month.

Pedlow has been director of station relations for PBS Education since 2004, leading the training of pubTV station staff in the promotion and marketing of PBS online and digital media products and services. She also worked at CPB for 10 years, as director of programming strategies; associate director of cultural, drama and arts programming; and senior program officer. Pedlow was a member of the CPB team that managed the founding of LPB in the 1990s.

She’ll direct operations of public media’s largest Latino-focused content developer and funder, providing programming to public television stations, multicast channels and other media platforms. One major project: She’ll be LPB’s executive producer for the upcoming six-hour series “The Latino Americans,” with WETA.

Luis Ortiz, LPB’s managing director, will oversee LPB during the transition period. He will continue to manage the day-to-day operations in Los Angeles and maintain the West Coast presence for group.

Economist editorial: NPR may be better off without federal funding

The debate over federal funding to public radio isn't really about how the money is distributed, and how much local stations depend on it, as so many of public radio's own reporters have recently explained, according to this unsigned editorial by the Economist. It's a targeted partisan attack that capitalizes on conservatives' long running campaign to discredit mainstream media.

Red Green rolls on

How'd pubcasting fave Red Green come up with that name, anyway? "I was making fun of a guy who had a TV show in Canada, Red Fisher," Green's creator Steve Smith tells the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "Green seemed like the dumbest last name to go with Red. Now they tell me I'm a genius because every stoplight's a promo." Green is still selling out stops on his latest tour, promoting his book, How to Do Everything. And when he's not touring, he's tinkering. His most recent project: "I put in an outside electrical outlet," he said. "It's functional, it's crooked and it's on the side of the house my wife never walks by, so everybody's happy." Green's weekend performance in Minneapolis is a fundraiser for Twin Cities Public Television.

Meanwhile, Growing Bolder Media — producers of The Growing Bolder TV Show on WMFE in Orlando and WEDU in Tampa, as well as The Growing Bolder Radio Show on WMFE-FM — recently posted this online interview with the always colorful character.

WQXR's Limor Tomer departing for post at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Limor Tomer, executive producer for music at New York Public Radio's classical station WQXR, is leaving to head up the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Concerts & Lectures series, the Met announced Tuesday (March 29). In addition to her work at WQXR, Tomer also serves as adjunct curator for performing arts at the Whitney Museum. She takes up her new duties on May 1.

During her time at the public radio station, she oversaw the transition to fully digital music broadcasting and the launch of Q2, an all-digital radio stream devoted to the music of living composers. She also served on the transition team during the acquisition of WQXR by WNYC (now operated jointly as New York Public Radio).

Tomer also is a classically trained pianist, with her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Juilliard School. She spent a decade performing professionally in solo and orchestral performances throughout the United States and Europe.