The United States’ first 24/7 television channel for indigenous people has begun airing on a handful of public television stations across the country. The channel’s launch was limited, as producing station KVCR in San Bernardino, Calif., seeks a national distribution deal and additional funding. In addition to KVCR, FNX: First Nations Experience is carried by KEET in Eureka, Calif., LPTV in Bemidji, Minn., and Navajo Nation TV-5, which covers parts of New Mexico and Arizona. Chicago’s WYCC and Oklahoma’s CATV-47 plan to begin airing the channel soon. Meanwhile, technical difficulties with FNX equipment have delayed its launch on Wyoming PBS.
As expected, the San Mateo County (Calif.) Community College District announced Dec. 7 it is seeking a buyer for public broadcaster KCSM-TV. In June, the college district said it was selling the station to end its predicted $800,000 structural deficit. Independent Public Media, a nonprofit consortium headed by WYBE founder John Schwarz and former WNET exec Ken Devine, has already signaled its interest in keeping the channel available for public media (Current, Oct. 17).
The FCC closed its investigation of a management agreement between the University of San Francisco and the Los Angeles–based Classical Public Radio Network June 7 after each of the parties agreed to pay the federal government $25,000 as part of a consent decree.
The two remaining finalists bidding for KCSM-TV in San Mateo, Calif., are local groups aligned with Independent Public Media and Public Media Company. The bid amounts have not been disclosed. Independent Public Media is headed by former pubcasters John Schwartz and Ken Devine, who are working to preserve noncom TV licenses for the public system. (Current, Oct. 17, 2011).
Judy Jankowski, who held top management positions at several public broadcasting stations, died Dec. 17  at Kindred Hospital in Westminster, Calif. She was 61. She started her long pubcasting career as a traffic manager at WOUB in Athens, Ohio, worked as g.m. of Pittsburgh’s WDUQ from the mid-1980s until 1994, and then managed another leading jazz station — KLON, now KKJZ in Long Beach, Calif. — until retiring in 2005.
A consultant’s study of public TV’s crowded Los Angeles market, commissioned by CPB, predicts a highly integrated collaboration among the area’s four stations would provide hefty financial savings and grow revenues for all four. The eight-week study by Booz & Co. — a major consulting firm spun off by Booz Allen Hamilton — said the present structure of the market has stunted the four stations. They’ve suffered a 10 percent revenue decline since 2005 and a 26 percent drop in net assets since 2007. All have average audiences below the PBS national average rating of 1.1 percent.
After negotiating with PBS for eight months over a proposal to reduce its dues and remake public TV in the Los Angeles market, the city’s biggest public station announced last week that it is preparing to completely drop out of the network. If KCET proceeds with its back-up plan for financial relief, as of Jan. 1 PBS would be left without a station committed to air the bulk of its schedule in the nation’s second-largest media market. It would be the first departure of a major-market member in the network’s history. KCET President Al Jerome told Current in an extended interview that he’d prefer to remain with PBS, but — if the network doesn’t budge — he has unanimous board backing to forgo the PBS brand and the icon series from its National Program Service.
After negotiating with PBS for eight months over a proposal to reduce its dues and reconfigure pubTV in the Los Angeles market, the city’s bigget public station announced this week that it may drop out of the network by Jan. 1. If KCET proceeds with that option, PBS would be left without a station committed to carrying its primetime and children's schedules in the nation’s second-largest media market. It would be the first departure of a major-market member in the network’s history. KCET President Al Jerome told Current that he’d prefer to remain with PBS, but says — if the network doesn’t budge — he has unanimous backing from the station's board of directors to forgo the PBS brand and the icon series of its National Program Service.