Jul 19, 2011

Anonymous donors provide help to WHYY for NJN deal

At least two anonymous contributions are assisting WHYY in Philadelphia in its takeover of five FM stations from the NJN Network, reports Shore News Today. The expansion deal cost the station $926,000, which was donated by someone who requested anonymity "with good reason," said Bill Marrazzo, WHYY president. He said the station would have been willing to identify the donor during sale negotiations, but that was ultimately not necessary. Another donor, who also wanted to remain nameless, is giving WHYY funds to launch a market study in South Jersey to look at programming, branding and advertising. Marrazzo would only say it's a six-figure contribution. The marketing study is expected to last through the summer and into the fall.

WXEL-TV terminates three employees; potential owners to launch capital campaign

WXEL-TV in Boynton Beach, Fla., has laid off three staffers, station President Bernie Henneberg told the Palm Beach Post Monday (July 18). The station lost around $300,000 in May when Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $4.8 million lawmakers had included in the state's $69.7 billion budget for public television and radio stations. "We laid off three very valuable employees as a direct result of Gov. Scott zeroing out our Community Service Grant," Henneberg said in an email. "We simply have to make cuts in order to survive."

Henneberg's WXEL Public Broadcasting Corp. is hoping to buy the station for $700,000 from Barry University, which has owned it since 1997. University trustees gave the group exclusivity until Dec. 31 to make the deal. Henneberg said it needs to raise $1.5 million and is kicking off a capital campaign Aug. 1.

Public Media Chat leaders Tweet a fond farewell

The hosts of Monday night Public Media Chats, who have been conversing with the system in 140-character bursts since February 2010, signed off for the final time last night (July 18). "After well over a year (or has it been 2?) we feel that we have reached our initial goal — to get the #pubmedia community talking & sharing," they wrote. "All of your hosts love #pubmedia but due to personal, and professional obligations it's no longer feasible for us to host a weekly chat. Please continue to use the #pubmedia hashtag here, and be sure to join the Public Media Facebook group for further conversation. With much respect and adoration, farewell." Your hosts have been: Jonathan Coffman of PBS, Adam Schweigert of WOSU, Amy Wielunski of WSKG, online media strategist Amanda Hirsch and Annie Shreff of the WGBH Lab. Some discussions are archived here.