KQED launches 11th season of ImageMakers and new spinoff show

ImageMakers, the indie film showcase curated by San Francisco’s KQED TV, will debut the Oscar-winning film Curfew, May 12. Every year, KQED Program Director Scott Dwyer makes the film festival rounds and screens over 2,000 productions to curate a new season of ImageMakers, a series featuring short independent films from around the world. He rushed to buy broadcast rights to Shawn Christensen’s Curfew in January 2012, as soon as he watched it and well before the drama started gaining recognition. “In order to compete with places like Starz, Sundance Channel and HBO, I have to buy them really fast, before they start to win awards,” said Dwyer, whose film festival circuit includes the Aspen Shortsfest and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Dwyer, series creator and producer, conceived of ImageMakers in the late 1990s, when he realized that Masterpiece Theater was the only regular drama on PBS.

MPT collects Super Bowl wager winnings from KQED

Maryland Public Television can thank the Baltimore Ravens this week for helping the station win a supply of sourdough breads and chocolate. The station laid some local cuisine on the line with San Francisco's KQED as part of a friendly wager leading up to the Feb. 3 Super Bowl match between the Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. If Baltimore won, KQED promised to ship the bread and chocolate to MPT. If San Francisco won, MPT would send crab cakes and Bergers cookies, a Balmer fave, across the country.

KQED’s AIDS at 30 series wins award for excellence in radio

The series covered the 30th anniversary of the year the Centers for Disease Control reported that five previously healthy young men in Los Angeles had come down with a rare lung disease, later identified as HIV. For The California Report series, Scott Shafer interviewed medical researchers and activists involved in the early days of the epidemic. Established in 1993 to recognize excellence in journalism about issues related to the LGBT community, the NLGJA’s Excellence in Journalism Awards were presented at the UNITY 2012 Convention and NLGJA Awards Reception Aug. 3 in Las Vegas. The UNITY: Journalists, Inc. coalition consists of the NLGJA, the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.

Anthony Tiano, longtime KQED president, dies at 71

Anthony Tiano, president of KQED in San Francisco from 1979–93, died Aug. 12 at his home in Albuquerque, N.M. He was 71. At the time of his death he was president of Santa Fe Productions, which produced programming for public television stations. A statement from KQED said Tiano led the station “through a period of significant growth and change,” including starting a full seven-day schedule for KQED Public Television and the converting KQED Public Radio to an all-news format. Tiano spent more than 40 years running public television stations and producing programming for them.

NPR seeks deal to offer CRM to more stations

NPR Digital Services is negotiating with an unidentified vendor to provide cloud-computing products to member stations, potentially transforming the ways they manage their membership programs and relationships with audiences. Bob Kempf, chief of the Boston-based NPR unit, would not identify the vendor, but acknowledges that NPR has been in close negotiations with roundCorner, a three-year-old company that specializes in designing customer relationship management (CRM) systems for nonprofit organizations. He aims to have a master services agreement with a third-party vendor in place by the end of the year, and launch a pilot program with as many as 10 stations in early 2013. NPR’s goal, he says, is to offer all member stations the opportunity to buy a license to a cloud-based, customizable CRM product later next year. “We are not building a single platform in the sky for stations to sign on to,” Kempf says.

As attorneys in court, Clooney and Sheen oppose Proposition 8; Brad Pitt is the judge in the benefit L.A. Theatre Works performance.

Output: Prop 8 goes down in starry radio docudrama, online cultural essays graduate to videos at KCET.org, and more

On Sunday, June 10, L.A. Theatre Works debuts a radio docudrama about the federal court case that overturned the referendum that banned  same-sex marriage in California. Director Rob Reiner assembled an all-star cast to perform 8, which was written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. Brad Pitt plays Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for Northern California; Martin Sheen and George Clooney portray the lawyers who joined forces to argue for gay rights — Ted Olson and David Boies, respectively. Olson and Boies had been combatants in arguing Bush v. Gore before the U.S. Supreme Court, so their alliance in the Perry case added a twist to the case and the dramatization. Kevin Bacon plays the lead attorney for Prop 8’s proponents.