The Corporation for Public Broadcasting awarded an $850,000 grant for eight new half-hour episodes of America By The Numbers, a series featuring journalist Maria Hinojosa that had a pilot run as a PBS election special. Programs in the series, which will air on PBS and the World Channel, will cover topics such as health disparities revealed by infant mortality rates, military service by residents of non-voting territories of the Pacific Islands and the effects of the domestic oil boom on Native American lands. "Consistent with the mission of public broadcasting - to give voice to the extraordinary diversity of this country - I am excited that PBS and the World Channel will premiere America by the Numbers,” said Maria Hinojosa, series host and project leader, in a statement. “This eight-part series is the first national TV program dedicated to documenting massive and historic demographic change in the US using hard data and powerful storytelling.”
America By The Numbers is a collaboration between Hinojosa's Futuro Media Group and Boston's WGBH. CPB backed the production through its Diversity and Innovation Fund, according to its June 5 grant announcement.
CPB and Ready to Learn, a U.S. Department of Education program supporting preschool learning, will provide $2.2 million in grants to 21 public television stations to create new or expand existing school-readiness projects. One of the new grants, announced June 3, will establish an Illinois Ready to Learn transmedia network with pubTV partners WILL in Champaign-Urbana, WSIU in Carbondale and WTVP in Peoria, to reach 12,000 educators and 13,000 school children. Partnering with community coalitions in central and southern Illinois, the effort will provide educational programs to three low-income communities, as well as offer professional development for educators. The stations received just over $105,000 for that work. Since 2011, pubTV stations nationwide have used Ready to Learn grants specifically to extend the educational benefits of PBS Kids content by providing interactive math and literacy programs and services to local communities.
Suggested budget cuts at the University of Alaska Fairbanks could jeopardize the survival of KUAC, the university's public broadcasting outlet, according to the station's g.m.
A committee tasked with closing a gap in the university's budget of as much as $14 million included cuts to the station's funding in a proposal released in May. Trimming KUAC's funding could save the university between $800,000 and $1.4 million, according to the budget committee, the highest estimated savings of all the recommendations except for consolidating or eliminating some degree programs.
The committee listed the cuts as “recommended with reservations” and noted that the station could move toward self-support. But the station wouldn’t be able to support itself if the cuts are made too quickly, said KUAC General Manager Keith Martin. KUAC received $1.3 million from the university in 2013, amounting to a little more than a third of its budget. “Even if they want to implement self-funding in up to three years, we're pretty much done,” he said.
Tomlinson, a former Reader’s Digest editor and CPB Board chair who mounted a behind-the-scenes campaign to balance what he saw as a liberal bias in PBS programming, died May 1 in Winchester, Va., after a long hospitalization.