As methods for online giving grow, stations should prepare for “different fundraising landscape”

A mobile tipping point came earlier this year. For the first time, mobile devices accounted for 55 percent of Internet usage, according to January data from comScore, while laptops and desktops accounted for 45 percent of usage. The proportion of Americans who read email on their mobile devices has also crossed the halfway point, with a 2013 Pew Research Center survey finding that 52 percent of cellphone owners used their devices to send or receive email. For development professionals planning email appeals for year-end fundraising campaigns, these technology shifts will support or undercut the effectiveness of your efforts. Most donors who open your messages will read them on smartphones and tablets. Continue Reading

California Arts Council directs state aid to three public media outlets

In the first and potentially only government-backed grant program supporting arts coverage by California’s public media stations, KQED, PBS SoCaL and Radio Bilingüe each received one-time funding from the California Arts Council. The Council created its Arts on the Air program as one of several initiatives funded by a special $2 million allocation from the California state legislature. The state aid was split between two arts education initiatives and three grant programs; the council created Arts on the Air specifically to support public, nonprofit media outlets and directed $200,000 to be distributed through a competitive grants process. “It’s a modest program, but the council really wanted to find organizations that would really impact public feeling about the arts, that would build public will and understanding about the value of the arts in our communities,” said Caitlin Fitzwater, spokesperson for the Arts Council. In San Francisco, KQED’s $75,000 grant will help fund an expansion of Spark, a weekly television show and educational outreach program that profiles local artists and art organizations. Continue Reading

NPR to stock new mobile app by aiding stations on back end

NPR is preparing member stations to provide local news for the network’s new mobile app, slated for release by summer. NPR content chief Kinsey Wilson discussed and previewed the app Feb. 24 for station execs attending the Public Media Summit in Washington, D.C. It builds on the Infinite Player, an NPR platform released for bigger-screened devices in 2011, moving it to a mobile interface and adding local station content to NPR’s own programming. Summit attendees heard an NPR newscast item about the Winter Olympics segue into a segment from San Francisco’s KQED about a labor dispute. The audio included a plea for donations to KQED. Continue Reading

Raul Ramirez, longtime news director at KQED, dies at 67

Raul Ramirez, executive director of news and public affairs at San Francisco’s KQED, died Nov. 15 in Berkeley. He was 67 and had been fighting esophageal cancer since his July diagnosis. Born in Cuba, Ramirez began his career in the 1960s as a print journalist, working at major dailies such as the Miami Herald, the Washington Post and the San Francisco Examiner. He joined KQED in 1991, signing on as news director. Continue Reading