Apr 21, 2011

Donors will get a Pledge-Free Stream from KQED Public Radio

KQED is offering quite the thank-you gift to listeners: A Pledge-Free Stream. Beginning today (April 21), fans who donate at least $45 online before May 5 will receive access to a special programming stream to listen to KQED Public Radio on a computer or smartphone without interruption for the duration of the May fund drive.

"This is, we hope, only a step toward alternative funding models that generate significant donor revenue and enable uninterrupted access to great programming," Donald Derheim, station c.o.o., said in a statement. "We’re hopeful that what KQED does here in the Bay Area will spread everywhere to the benefit of public radio listeners around the world.”

KQED's innovations in fundraising — audience memberships, pledge nights, and televised auctions —  date to the 1950s. The first-ever on-air public broadcasting auction, on KQED in 1955, featured civic leaders, physicist Edward Teller and stripper Tempest Storm (Current, Feb. 3, 1997).

The new Pledge-Free Stream will be a second stream of KQED Public Radio with all regular programming including live news reports (except for traffic updates). It will be hosted by a separate team of on-air announcers, and will omit all fundraising breaks.

Grab new audiences on new platforms, Schiller advises public broadcasters

Vivian Schiller may no longer be president of NPR, but that isn't stopping her from making news with her views on public radio. “You are now competing in the big leagues and are no longer the scrappy underdog,” she said, addressing her remarks to former colleagues during a speech at Harvard's Shorenstein Center Wednesday (April 20). "You must become your own disruptors. If you don’t aggressively reach out to new audiences on new platforms, someone else will. There is no such thing as lasting media loyalty, especially in this age of media promiscuity.” She also said public radio needs to “let go of the nostalgia” of the craft. Schiller created a buzz within public broadcasting with similar remarks last year — that "radio towers are going away within 10 years, and Internet radio will take its place" — at her June 2 appearance at D8, the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital conference (Current, June 7, 2010).

"An American Family" producer: "What have I done?"

Craig Gilbert, who created TV's original reality series, An American Family, on WNET and PBS in 1973, said the experience "was pretty damn tumultuous, and I don’t want to go over it anymore.” But luckily for New Yorker readers he does, in the mag's current issue. He's displeased with HBO's upcoming Cinema Verite, which dramatizes the making of the controversial 12-part program focusing on the Loud family. “If you are given the assignment to write a two-hour film that exposes the making of An American Family, the only avenue to take is that the producer is corrupt,” Gilbert says.

The memory of a call from Pat Loud still stings. She was hurt by public reaction to her family — one critic called the family “affluent zombies.”

"Pat was screaming,” Gilbert says. “She’d taken a below-the-belt hit, and it hurt. That, right there, was the beginning of my own confusion. What have I done? What do I do?” He paused. “I’ve never resolved it. I didn’t know what I had wrought. I still don’t.”

Masterpiece's Eaton one of TIME's Top 100

TIME magazine has selected its Top 100 most influential people in the world, and it includes Masterpiece Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. Her tribute is written by actress Gillian Anderson, who appeared in Any Human Heart on the pubcasting series. "As Masterpiece, still on a publicly funded network, celebrates this remarkable [40-year] anniversary, we Americans are fortunate to have Rebecca at the helm: someone committed to bringing great television drama to the widest possible audience, week after week," Anderson writes. Among Eaton's fellow honorees on the 2011 list: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Facebook c.e.o. Mark Zuckerberg, and Britain's Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton.