PBS, MediaShift to part ways in July

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The stable of blogs that includes MediaShift and EdShift will move out from under the PBS umbrella after nearly a decade as of July 1.

PBS said Friday that it would end its affiliation with MediaShift, which it helped creator Mark Glaser launch in 2006. MediaShift grew into a network of blogs including DigitalEd, Idea Lab and the podcast Mediatwits.

“We’ve enjoyed our association with Mark over the years and his insightful reporting from the frontlines of the digital media revolution,” PBS said in a statement. “We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

The move comes after PBS cut its funding to MediaShift around 18 months ago but allowed Glaser to continue hosting the sites on PBS’s website. Glaser said he leaves on good terms and that the decision did not come as a surprise.

“I appreciate what PBS has given me,” Glaser said. “They launched it and helped me build it to where I can leave the nest and make it on my own.”

After PBS decided to stop funding MediaShift, it suggested options that included selling the blogs, spinning them off into an independent operation or staying on under the PBS banner, which is what Glaser opted for.

MedaShift has been working on diversifying revenue in anticipation of striking out independently, Glaser said. In April, MediaShift announced that it would launch a series of training webinars, DigitalEd.

PBS was supportive of Glaser finding ways to support the blogs, he said. Their decision to cut funding and end affiliation reflected his success in becoming self-sufficient, he said.

“Even when I first started at PBS, as a one-person blog, I built into the contract that I would be entrepreneurial with it,” Glaser said. “And I think when PBS saw were doing well, they decided to cut the funding.”

The move away from PBS coincides with an already planned overhaul of the site. MediaShift.org now redirects to a PBS URL, which will end July 1.

“Basically, it’s going to be same as it has been since PBS cut funding,” Glaser said.

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