APTS restructures to support strategic goals for state-level advocacy, public service

The Association of Public Television Stations has restructured its staff to align with recently adopted strategic goals, including efforts to promote best practices, increase state and federal funding and support advocacy for the system at large. Two key staffers are stepping up to manage the expanding workload. Kate Riley, director of government relations, has been promoted to v.p., government and public affairs; she will focus on advocacy and state and federal funding. Emil Mara, v.p. for finance and administration, will direct member services. The reorganization follows through on a strategic plan adopted by the APTS board of trustees in November, according to Pat Butler, president. Continue Reading

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SABEW honors biz news, Michiganers land MAB awards, and more recognition for pubcasters

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Pubcasters honored with SABEW Best in Business awards. NPR’s coverage of the “Health Care Website Launch” was named best radio/TV segment or interview, citing reporter Elise Hu and editors Uri Berliner and Neal Carruth. NPR’s Planet Money won in the innovation category for its episode “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt.” WAMU 88.5 News’s Patrick Madden, Julie Patel and Meymo Lyons won for best radio/TV or investigative report for “Deals for Developers.” “Lots of ground covered, great interviews with lots of players and lots of tough questions asked,” said SABEW. “This is local accountability journalism at its best.”

ProPublica received three awards in the digital arena. ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger won for digital commentary for “The Trade,” which addressed the banking and financial industries; T. Christian Miller and Jeff Gerth were cited in the digital explanatory division for “Overdose,” a series investigating the dangers of acetaminophen; and A.C. Thompson and Jonathan Jones won for the digital feature “Assisted Living.”

The digital investigative prize went to Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity for “Breathless and Burdened: Dying from Black Lung, Buried by Law and Medicine.” (“Breathless and Burdened” also won the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting presented by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government for CPI’s Hamby, Ronnie Greene, Jim Morris and Chris Zubak-Skees plus Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz of ABC News; it was presented March 5 in Boston.)

The 19th annual BiB awards will be presented March 29 at the SABEW conference in Phoenix. Continue Reading

APTS chief sees renewed battle over CPB aid

APTS President Patrick Butler is warning public broadcasters of continued threats to their federal funding this summer as Congress takes up work on appropriations for the next federal budget. During an appearance at the Public Media Business Association conference this morning, Butler recalled a private meeting with a key House Republican from Georgia who opposes federal aid to CPB. Rep. Jack Kingston, chair of the House appropriations subcommittee with oversight over CPB, told Butler that he plans to zero-out CPB funding. “He told me point blank, in January, that he was going to do everything he could to eliminate our funding," Butler said during a PMBA breakfast meeting at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. Public TV’s top lobbyist expects Kingston to introduce the bill in June. "I'm sure there will be a big zero in his bill for public broadcasting," he said. Continue Reading