Jun 15, 2012

Respondents feel, station websites "too subtle" in donation requests

PBS Interactive has an update on research on PBS's Prosper online fundraising project.

One interesting finding so far: Universally, "respondents felt that both and the station sites they looked at were too subtle in the donation placement," said Amy Sample, PBS Interactive's director of web analytics. "That said, there is a limit to how overt the appeal can be. We still have to respect the essence of the brand. Clearly there is room for experimentation and testing of donation appeals."

Phase I of the research in May involved focus groups of existing and potential donors in Baltimore and Chicago; Phase II begins in July and will survey existing station donors nationwide.

Sample expects to have a final report on the research findings by the end of summer.

BREAKING NEWS: Four Ala. Educational TV Foundation Authority members resign to protest firings

Three members of the fundraising Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority have quit in protest of the terminations Tuesday of Alabama Public Television Executive Director Allan Pizzato and Pauline Howland, deputy director and c.f.o., by the Alabama Educational Television Commission.

Foundation Authority Chair Joseph B. Mays Jr., a Birmingham attorney; Vanzetta Penn McPherson of Montgomery, a retired U.S. Magistrate Judge; and Allyson Edwards of Leeds, a Honda executive, have resigned.

UPDATE, 6 p.m. Friday: Foundation Authority member Robert E. Nesbitt of Birmingham has also resigned.

Mays told Current that after speaking privately with several commission members, “I thought it best that I resign.” He declined to provide details of those conversations.

“I have the highest regard for Allan Pizzato and Pauline Howland,” Mays said. “They are both consummate professionals. First-rate, top-flight people.”

The authority is a public nonprofit corporation comprising five Foundation members as well as the seven members of the Alabama Educational Television Commission. Foundation members are appointed by the Commission and serve four-year terms.

Mays has served on the board for longer than 12 years.

The Foundation receives, invests, and spends donations “related to the promotion, development, and growth of educational and public broadcasting and television in Alabama,” according to the Code of Alabama.

UPDATE: For Current's full story on the Alabama Public Television situation, posted June 24, click here.

Alabama PTV's Jon Beans dies at 50

Jon Beans, a reporter and host on Alabama Public Television for more than 20 years, died Wednesday (June 13) at a Montgomery hospital from sickle cell anemia, according to The Associated Press. He was 50.

Beans was with APT from 1990 through 2011, as a producer, executive producer for news and public affairs director. He appeared on For the Record, Capitol Journal, Alabama Stories and other programs. He was also an adjunct professor in communications at Alabama State University.

Survivors include his wife, Sagusta; their daughter, Kaitlyn; and son, Jonathan.

Funeral arrangements are pending. (Photo: APT)

PBS wins two Promax/BDA Gold Awards for its Be More "What if?" image ad campaign.

The Promax award credited Lesli Rotenberg, senior v.p., marketing and communications; Judy Braune, now retired v.p.; John Ruppenthal, senior creative director; Kelly Chmielewski, senior director, brand strategy; and Susan Redford, associate director, print/online.

The Promax (marketing) award covered the consumer or trade print ad campaign for TV networks or channels; the Broadcast Designers Association award was in the category of image campaigns in consumer publications.

The awards for electronic media promotion and design were announced June 14 at the associations' joint conference in Los Angeles.

Broadcasters need spectrum repacking info, bidding flexibility, research paper says

A new paper argues that in upcoming spectrum auctions, broadcasters should be allowed to offer multiple bids, such as one for channel sharing and another to sell their spectrum entirely, and be able to place "combinatorial" bids contingent on multiple station bids being accepted, reports Multichannel News.

The paper, "Incentive Auctions: Economic and Strategic Issues," is co-authored by former FCC chief economist Thomas Hazlett, and David Porter and Vernon Smith of research firm Arlington Economics. Hazlett is on the panel at an event today (June 15), "Improving Spectrum Access Through Reverse Auctions," at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

The paper also notes that the FCC needs to release its model for repacking TV stations in time for broadcasters to determine if it is in their interest to give up spectrum.

"The whole purpose of the auction is to get the spectrum where it has the most value," Porter told Multichannel News. "That might mean staying with broadcasters or it might not. Everybody is saying that it will be wireless companies, but we don't know what the bids will be or the repacking costs. Until all those things are determined, who knows what the best hands are."