NEA announces 2013 media arts grants; OVEE and AIR projects among recipients

The National Endowment of the Arts announced $4.68 million in funding to 76 media-arts projects April 23, including new grantees such as the Online Video Engagement Experience (OVEE) developed with CPB funding, a new initiative from the Association of Independents in Radio called Spectrum America and Sonic Trace, a multimedia production at KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., that was created through AIR’s recently concluded Localore project. For a second year, the NEA will continue to support projects that use digital technologies to go beyond traditional broadcasting platforms. In its announcement, the endowment highlighted a $100,000 grant to OVEE, a digital platform that allows web users to interact while watching PBS and local station content. The Independent Television Service developed the technology with support from CPB. AIR also received $100,000 for Spectrum America, a project that will pair media artists with public stations as they experiment with “new approaches to storytelling.”

Sonic Trace, a co-production at KCRW initiated through AIR’s 2012–2013 Localore initiative, received a direct NEA grant of $75,000 to continue exploring the experience of Latino immigrants. NEA also backed digital media projects at NPR, providing $100,000 for music programming and multimedia content.

Jesse Thorn is the creator and host of Bullseye, which will move to carriage under NPR in April. (Photo credit: Noe Montes)

Jesse Thorn’s Bullseye moving to NPR

More than six weeks after first announcing his arts-and-culture radio program’s exit from longtime distributor PRI, Jesse Thorn revealed the details of Bullseye’s new partnership on his Tumblr account Feb. 7. Beginning in April, the program will be distributed through NPR, with no break in carriage after the program’s relationship with PRI ends in late March.

After producers upload their audio, video, photo or text content

Full speed ahead for Public Media Platform

After two-plus years of planning and prototyping a shared hub providing easy access to digital content from across public media, partners in the Public Media Platform will begin building the new technical system next month.

Newsroom of PRI's "The World" radio news program at WGBH

WGBH widens radio reach with PRI acquisition

WGBH’s acquisition of Public Radio International, announced July 26, positions the station and network to step up their longtime collaboration as co-producers.. PRI will remain operationally independent … and be responsible for raising its own revenue…

WGBH, the top producer of PBS programs, now owns Public Radio International

In a move signalling its ambitions to extend its clout and influence in public radio, Boston’s WGBH has acquired Public Radio International, the Minnesota-based program distributor of radio programs such as This American Life, The World and The Takeaway. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the sale will help to stabilize the nonprofit program distributor PRI, which ran an operating deficit of $2 million in 2011, according to PRI spokesperson Julia Yager. “This is a deal borne out of shared visions,” Yager said in an interview with Current. PRI began examining its options last year as its leadership considered the implications of various funding scenarios for public media. PRI looked for partners to help it continue distributing radio programming and found that WGBH was best aligned with its own mission and values.