Jul 11, 2011

DEI unveils iPhone app for PMDMC confab

The latest iPhone app release for public media is tailor-made for attendees of this week's Public Media Development and Marketing conference in Pittsburgh. The app is built to run on the iOS4 iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, and includes details of the full conference schedule, maps of the conference hotel, and links to PMDMC Facebook and Twitter feeds. The Publink icon offers discounts to Pittsburgh restaurants and cultural venues. The app, offered by DEI and co-sponsors JacAPPS and Publink, is a free download from the iTunes store.

Grants bolster Native radio program services

Two foundation grants will back capacity-building for Koahnic Broadcasting Corporation, the public media nonprofit that operates KNBA in Anchorage, Alaska, and produces the nationally distributed broadcasts Native America Calling and National Native News.

The grants, totaling $375,000, support a three-year effort to strengthen KBC's Native radio programming and distribution services. Ford Foundation committed $300,000 to the initiative and the Nathan Cummings Foundation provided the balance.

KBC distributes news, public affairs and cultural programs through Native Voice One, a service that has gained 11 new affiliates this past year and anticipates serving new tribal stations in Louisiana, Idaho and New York State, according to a news release announcing the grants. "This is critical support at this time when the FCC has issued a priority for Tribal organizations to obtain broadcast radio licenses," said KBC President Jaclyn Sallee. "This can lead to unprecedented growth in the Native stations that are using KBC's Native program and distribution services."

Expansion of Native radio is at a critical juncture, as Current reports in today's print edition. Many of the Native groups that won construction permits to build new stations in 2007 are nearing the three-year deadline to get their stations on the air. Native Public Media and the National Congress of American Indians recently passed a resolution [PDF] asking the FCC's Media Bureau to consider extending the deadlines.

NPR, PBS focusing on corporate sponsor opportunities, mag says

Public broadcasting "has proved helpful to a growing list of advertisers across multiple categories," according to a story today (July 11) on NPR and PBS corporate sponsorship in Advertising Age magazine. Fox Searchlight gave NPR the entire broadcast marketing budget for the highly anticipated May release of director Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life." Dan Pittman, senior v.p.-media at Fox Searchlight, told the magazine, "NPR's audience dovetails well with the campaigns for many of our films, which tend to appeal to educated, sophisticated audiences." PBS is also desirable, because being on it "means being associated with someone committed to the arts, quality TV and preserving PBS's desire to infiltrate knowledge and education, not just pure entertainment," said Darcy Bowe of Starcom USA, which assists corporate and brand-level clients on PBS buys.

The magazine says NPR is focusing on underwriting for streaming radio and podcasts. Digital now accounts for 20 percent of NPR's sponsorship revenue and has increased 10 percent this fiscal year. And PBS is looking at shifting breaks deeper into shows (Current, May 31, 2011), away from the cluttered top of the hour, to improve the viewer experience, it says. But the mag notes: "Shifting sponsors' messages into the middle of shows, when viewers are most likely to be paying close attention, will also improve the corporate sponsors' experience — perhaps bringing more of them into the tent as well."

Two managers out at Nightly Business Report

Two longtime top newsroom managers are gone from Nightly Business Report in Miami. Managing Editor Wendie Feinberg and Rodney Ward, executive vice president of special projects, are no longer with the show, according to a July 8 statement. Co-anchor Tom Hudson is assuming Feinberg's responsibilities. Feinberg joined the show in April 1995. Ward has been with NBR since its debut in 1979. In 1991 he was appointed Washington bureau chief. He became managing editor in 1995 and executive editor in 2006. His title shifted to executive vice president special projects in November 2010, after the program was sold to former educational video salesman Mykalai Kontilai's NBR Worldwide (Current, Aug. 23, 2010). Since the acquisition, at least eight of its 44 staffers have been laid off (Current, Nov. 15, 2010) as the program retools.