In review of pubTV stations, CPB’s Krichels sees “energy in the system”

Ted Krichels, CPB’s senior v.p. for system development and media strategy, recently talked to Current about the 50-page “Public Media Models of the Future” report he co-authored this fall with PBS Director of Strategy Stephen Holmes. Edited, rearranged and condensed excerpts from that conversation follow. Current: How did you start the process? Did you survey the entire system, or was it more word of mouth? Ted Krichels: Stephen and I initially were collecting stations, ones you would have heard about.

PBS examines successes in public service among stations

As some local pubcasters have started to forge paths toward models of public service developed through their own strategic planning or in collaboration with other stations, PBS has sought to bring more attention to their work, and progress, to date. Last year, it tapped Ted Krichels, former g.m. of Penn State Public Broadcasting, to lead its Sustainable Models Project, identifying models that other stations can replicate. Krichels completed that study last fall and recently joined CPB as senior v.p. for system development and media strategy. PBS released the 50-page “Public Media Models of the Future” report, written by Krichels and Stephen Holmes, PBS director of strategy, in November. Based on six months of research with public television station executives nationwide, the report identified eight service models: four within a broad category it called “community impact” and four that were focused on education.

PBS tightens rules for food and drink sponsors of kids’ programs

The PBS Board unanimously voted today to amend national program underwriting standards to require a higher level of review for food and beverage companies seeking to sponsor kids’ shows. Under the revision, President Paula Kerger told the board, “a potential sponsor for a PBS Kids series will be acceptable only if its product could be considered to make a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet.”

The amendment will have “only a minimal impact on our funding mix,” Kerger said. Less than 1 percent of children’s content sponsors in fiscal 2013 will be affected, she noted. The recommendation came after months of review of current underwriting guidelines for children’s shows by PBS staff and the board’s corporate services advisory committee. Major producing station WGBH, Sesame Workshop and nutrition experts also participated.

kerger2 press tour jan 2014

PBS recruiting new development chief

PBS is in “the final stages” of hiring a new executive to improve public TV fundraising efforts at both the local and national levels, President Paula Kerger announced during the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., Monday.

PBS streaming app now on Apple TV

Apple has signed PBS to create an app for its Apple TV set-top box service, AllThingsD reported Nov. 19. The app will allow Apple TV users who sign in through Facebook, Google+ or PBS’s own registration system to access the pubTV network’s digital library of on-demand programs.

Previous seasons of Downton Abbey will be largely unavailable due to Amazon’s acquiring of exclusive on-demand rights to the program in June. But Apple TV users will be able to watch recent episodes of the show within a short window of their airing on PBS, including station reairings of the second and third seasons between now and December, a PBS spokesperson told AllThingsD. The Apple app is PBS’s latest expansion into set-top content streaming.

PBS renews Tavis Smiley through 2015

PBS has renewed its commitment to Tavis Smiley for another two years, keeping the talk show on public TV through 2015. “The highlight for me is surviving” as a late-night talk show, Smiley told the Associated Press. The program, which tapes in Los Angeles, will face less competition in booking guests once NBC’s The Tonight Show moves to New York in February, he noted.