Forum will focus on philosophies of public media’s local service

The next Public Media Futures Forum, the latest in an ongoing series of events examining topics of interest to the field, will take place Tuesday at Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta. The city is also the site of this week’s Public Media Development and Marketing Conference, sponsored by DEI. The forum will explore differing philosophies of local service, such as the audience-loyalty approach championed for public radio by David Giovannoni and the "community impact" approach favored by CPB, foundations and other stakeholders. The more than 20 participants will include Michal Heiplik, director of the Contributor Development Partnership, a project of the Major Market Group and CPB; Ted Krichels, currently a project director for PBS, examining sustainable station business models;  Arthur Cohen, president of Public Radio Program Directors; and Barbara Appleby and Valerie Arganbright, co-founders of the Minnesota sustainability consultancy Appleby Arganbright. The Forum will be streamed live from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

Wednesday forum to explore public media arts coverage

The latest in an ongoing series of Public Media Futures forums will spotlight public broadcasting’s work surrounding the arts. The Feb. 20 roundtable discussion, "The Future of Arts and Culture on Public Media," will be hosted by the USC Annenberg’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy in downtown Washington, D.C. The center is co-sponsoring the forums with American University’s School of Communication, publisher of Current. Confirmed speakers and participants include Alyce Myatt, director of media arts for the National Endowment for the Arts and a former PBS programming v.p.; Roger LaMay, g.m. of WXPN-FM in Philadelphia; Vincent Curren, CPB c.o.o.; Sue Schardt, executive director of Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) and Maxie Jackson, president of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Adam Clayton Powell III, senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center, will moderate the discussion.

Radio g.m.’s adapt business models for newsgathering

Public radio is adapting too slowly to the competitive challenges it faces from Internet-based media platforms, and the pace of change must increase if local stations are to thrive in the years ahead. It’s a warning that public broadcasters have heard many times before, and research that I conducted this fall revealed that a large majority of radio station leaders have absorbed and begun acting on it. What were the most important changes you made in the last three years? Changes cited among
the 89 managers surveyed
How many cited this

Added news programming
65

Made organizational changes, including replacing a ce.o. or developing a new strategic plan
65

Invested in new media and or planned for digital convergence
39

Developed major-gift and other fundraising activities
38

Made non-news program changes
20

Took steps to “go local”
19

Developed new facilities
20

Expanded broadcast range or acquired new signals
13

Undertook promotional and community engagement activities
4

Invested in social media
3

Found and developed community partners
4

Source: Public Media Futures, November 2012 survey

In an online survey initiated in collaboration with Public Radio Regional Organizations, nearly three-quarters of 96 respondents, mostly general managers and chief executives, agreed that public radio must adapt more quickly to shifts in media consumption. Most station leaders see the expansion of local newsgathering capacity as the best strategy for bolstering their value to local listeners.

Pubcasting’s push into online news delivery has built-in limitations

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – At a forum of leading public media professionals, participants expressed mixed feelings about whether public media can, or should, replace newspapers as primary gatherers of news. At the fourth Public Media Futures forum, held Thursday at Bloomberg’s offices in San Francisco, more than two dozen public media professionals debated whether the industry’s non-broadcast capabilities are robust enough to allow it to fill the role of a daily newspaper. In some respects, public broadcasting websites have already moved into the up-to-the-minute newsgathering space. Kinsey Wilson, executive v.p. and chief content officer at NPR, said NPR.org functions much like a newspaper website, with breaking news, a story flow that shifts multiple times a day and large quantities of original content apart from radio pieces rewritten for the Web.