Public Law 90-129, 90th Congress, November 7, 1967 (as amended to April 26, 1968)
Enacted less than 10 months after the report of the Carnegie Commission on Educational Broadcasting, this law initiates federal aid to the operation (as opposed to funding capital facilities) of public broadcasting. Provisions include:
extend authorization of the earlier Educational Television Facilities Act,
forbid educational broadcasting stations to editorialize or support or oppose political candidates,
establish the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and defines its board,
defines its purposes,
authorize reduced telecommunications rates for its interconnection,
authorize appropriations to CPB, and
authorize a federal study of instructional television and radio. Title I—Construction of Facilities
Extension of duration of construction grants for educational broadcasting
Sec. 101. (a) Section 391 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 391) is amended by inserting after the first sentence the following new sentence: “There are also authorized to be appropriated for carrying out the purposes of such section, $10,500,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1968, $12,500,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1969, and $15,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1970.”
(b) The last sentence of such section is amended by striking out “July 1, 1968” and inserting in lieu thereof “July 1,1971.”
The pull of economic strains and push of technical advancements continue to spark collaborations among stations, with seven pubTV outlets signing onto a CPB-backed joint master-control project in Florida and two Oregon stations preparing to link via fiber lines and share a single schedule. The CPB Board on March 27 unanimously approved a $7 million grant for a centralcasting facility that will serve six stations in Florida and one in Georgia. The Jacksonville Digital Convergence Alliance LLC will run one master control with customized programming streams for WJCT in Jacksonville; WFSU, Tallahassee; WPBT, Miami; WBCC/WUCF, Orlando; Tampa stations WUSF and WEDU; and WPBA, Atlanta. Depending on how many additional stations sign on, the participating pubcasters will save as much as $20 million over 10 years, according to CPB’s estimates. Cost savings have become imperative, as CPB’s supplementary appropriation for digital projects is nearly depleted.
CPB is evaluating proposals from six regional journalism hubs for another year of operation and will furnish the centers with a shared set of best practices to follow if they receive additional funding. The guidelines will be designed to address challenges that the seven Local Journalism Centers have encountered during their two years of growth, such as negotiating editorial control and finding paths toward financial sustainability. Launched in 2010 with $10.5 million in CPB funding, the LJCs brought public broadcasters together in regional collaborations to report on focused areas of coverage, such as agriculture, border issues and health care. With the hubs entering their third year of operation, CPB hired a consultant to review which LJCs have succeeded, which have struggled and which factors have made the difference. At a meeting of the CPB Board March 26, interactive-media consultant Rusty Coats reported that four LJCs have established a clear voice and focus throughout their editorial products, while the rest have faced greater challenges.
CPB ombudsman Joel Kaplan has urged WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C., to release more information about a gathering of major donors and station journalists that prompted the Feb. 22 resignation of WAMU News Director Jim Asendio. The “Meet the Producers Breakfast” featured a panel discussion among WAMU reporters and producers for an audience of about 30 donors who had recently increased their annual contributions to at least $1,000. Asendio said he resigned because he believed the event had breached an ethical firewall insulating station journalists from funders. In Kaplan’s comments, posted March 2 on CPB.org, the ombudsman did not explicitly condemn the event but wrote that the issue “goes to the heart of the station’s ethics.”
“The public deserves more from WAMU,” Kaplan wrote.
Daniel del Solar, 71, a Chilean-American media activist, poet and photographer who headed training for CPB in its early days and later managed countercultural stations in San Francisco and Philadelphia, died Jan. 13 in Oakland, Calif. He had prostate cancer. Del Solar served as director of training and development at CPB in the late 1970s, during a period of active recruitment and training of ethnic-minority professionals. He later became g.m. of San Francisco’s KALW-FM from 1985 to 1992 and of Philadelphia’s WYBE-TV from 1992 to 1995.
"... The architecture of public media has to be reimagined immediately or the millennials will build their own parallel universe separate from the public broadcasting universe their Boomer grandparents live in...."
NPR President Gary Knell has restructured the news organization’s top ranks, elevating digital chief Kinsey Wilson to executive v.p. and chief content officer and appointing Margaret Low Smith senior v.p. of news, a job she took on an interim basis last year. When Wilson joined NPR as senior v.p. and general manager of digital media in 2008, the position was parallel to the senior news exec post then held by Ellen Weiss. Knell’s restructuring elevates Wilson in NPR’s organization chart to supervise all of NPR’s content areas — news, programming and digital media. “In Kinsey and Margaret, we have two journalists, strategists and leaders with a keen understanding of the craft that distinguishes NPR — and how we continue to innovate and evolve,” Knell said in a news release. The new structure allows for greater coordination of NPR’s news, digital and programming strategies, and a “more seamless integration” of its news operations, according to the release.
Matchmaking requires openness, compatibility, shared goals and maintaining a strong sense of identity. That’s the advice for public broadcasters looking to merge, as well as for doe-eyed sweethearts. CET in Cincinnati and ThinkTV in Dayton made the leap nearly three years ago, and by most accounts their union looks strong. The two stations, just 50 miles apart in separate southwestern Ohio media markets, are now incorporated as Public Media Connect and serve a region of 1.4 million households and more than 3.5 million people. Together they showed an operating deficit last year, as did many stations, but the budget gap has been shrinking and is projected to go positive this year.
Having lost its digital projects fund last year, CPB lacks the money to develop the American Archive much further, according to Mark Erstling, senior v.p. The next step is to find an outside institution to adopt and support creation of the proposed archive of public stations' historic audio, video and films.
That helps explain why professional archivist Matthew White left CPB Jan. 13 after two years as executive director. "It was very clear to him that things were going to change significantly," Erstling says, and White accepted an offer to lead a "significant" archiving project abroad. White could not be reached for comment. CPB declined Current's multiple requests for interviews with White over the previous two years.