Oct 17, 2011

Board asks Pacifica's WBAI-FM to reduce fundraising days by 40 percent

The board of WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio in New York City has passed a resolution that the station must drop the number of on-air fundraising days by 40 percent over the next three years and expand its membership "quickly by 35 percent," reports Matthew Lasar on the Radio Survivor blog. The Local Station Board (LSB) said in a resolution, "WBAI’s on-air fundraising is based on repetitive recorded half-hour and hour-long pitches for premiums. The LSB is concerned that so much valuable air-time is being spent on pitching premiums, such that the station is in danger of becoming another version of the home shopping network." WBAI was planning more than 120 days of on-air fundraising for next year.

WNYC content now available on Clear Channel's iHeartRadio app

Clear Channel Radio today (Oct. 17) announced the launch of WNYC News & Conversation on the revamped iHeartRadio, its free digital radio app. The new channel will feature WNYC programming including news-talk programs The Brian Lehrer Show, The Leonard Lopate Show, and The Takeaway, a co-production of WNYC and Public Radio International (PRI).

Kerger says PBS UK channel will air 1,000 unique hours of content next year

PBS UK "promises to be one of the most interesting channel launches for some time," according to the Guardian, "as long as the programming can deliver on the public service promise." In an interview with the British paper, PBS President Kerger says the channel, which launches Nov. 1, will present 500 unique hours of content this year and 1,000 hours next year. Very little will be children's programming; Kerger notes that a survey showed the market is already "well served" for that content. Kerger also hopes the channel will "give people here in the UK a sense of how news is reported in the United States"— although PBS NewsHour will air one day later there.

VegasPBS finds success by branching out

VegasPBS "may have found just that new business model" that will help public TV stations survive, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "While maintaining and even expanding its traditional educational mission, VegasPBS has branched out in ways unusual for PBS stations," including landing Homeland Security grants to build a regional emergency response support system. The station is now an $18 million-a-year diversified business, with nearly $63 million in net assets. And General Manager Tom Axtell says the station may launch a nightly newscast, a rarity in the pubTV system. "We have weathered the recession pretty well," he said.