Jones of PBS ponders new media opportunities

Michael Jones, who became COO for PBS in January, comments on the issue of new vs. traditional media in an interview in The New Pittsburgh Courier. “In my mind, the real challenge is how do you deliver the content in terms of relevancy going forward?” he told the paper. “We stream our programming on the Internet, you can download them on YouTube—how much do you put into Internet distribution and stay with linear television?

Confab focuses on new public media platforms

Pubcasting analyst Jessica Clark weighs in on the recent Media in Transition conference, organized by Henry Jenkins, director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT. The weekend confab “was rife with examples of how projects and practices are migrating across multiple platforms,” she writes. She adds: “Government support accounts for less than a quarter of the funding for public broadcasting as it is. Rather than being spread even more thinly, these limited funds should be channeled towards creating media platforms and projects that meet both the needs of citizens and the technologies of the moment.”

Smiley’s Prince interview garners attention

Tavis Smiley’s exclusive interview with Prince, the reclusive rock star, generated worldwide press coverage. Prince has revealed, among other things, that he is epileptic. Part one of the show is here, part two is here.

Mexican Sesame Street creates swine flu PSAs

Plaza Sesamo, the Mexican Sesame Street, is partnering with broadcaster Televisa to produce public-service spots on the swine flu, according to Sesame Workshop. Muppets Pancho and Lola join three of the country’s celebrities to appear in the announcements, which instruct children to tell a parent if they feel sick, cover their mouths with a tissue or arm when they sneeze or cough, and wash their hands several times a day. Plaza Sesamo e.p. Ginger Brown was en route to begin a new season of the show when the outbreak began. Instead of filming new episodes, the staff worked on the announcements.

CPB okays funding distribution rules

The CPB board this week approved distribution guidelines for funds that may be received from its supplemental appropriations request to the Office of Management and Budget. APTS asked for $211 million and NPR for $96 million, for a total request of $307 million. Two panels of pubcasters advised CPB on the guidelines. The first included members of CPB, PBS, APTS, the Affinity Group Coalition and the Public Radio Station Resource Group; the second was comprised of station reps from 10 pubTV and radio stations nationwide. All agreed that the goals should be should be: Funds are to be spent in accordance to current CSG policy, funds are to be distributed within 45 days or as quickly as possible, and funds are to be distributed in one payment.

Pop interrupted by porn in Waco

The viewers of KWBU-TV probably weren’t expecting a flash of pornography when they tuned in o the pledge program My Music: ’50s Pop Parade on Sunday night. Five seconds of adult programming appeared on the Waco, Texas, PBS affiliate, around 6:40 p.m. Interim g.m. Clare Paul said the station received about eight calls. The problem could have originated with the local cable company; it’s checking its broadcast logs. Paul told The Waco Tribune: “It absolutely did not come from us.”

WETA, 20 other nonprofits drop from United Way

PubTV station WETA is among 21 mid-Atlantic nonprofits that have dropped out of United Way and instead joined forces with Community 1st, a new fund-raising consortium. The groups cited declining numbers in workplace donations, as well as “lingering distrust,” as The Washington Post reports, of the local United Way. A fraudulent accounting scandal sent the group’s former chief executive to prison in 2004.

Court okays FCC fines on indecent broadcasts, for now at least

The Supreme Court yesterday ruled narrowly in favor of Federal Communications Commission’s penalties for broadcasters airing “fleeting expletives,” but it did not address questions about whether the FCC’s system of policing the airwaves is constitutional. The decision, which backed the $325,000 fines that the FCC began imposing in 2004 for each broadcast of certain “dirty words,” makes it “quite easy to imagine a majority coming together to nullify the FCC’s present policy,” according to this analysis by SCOTUSblog, which follows the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, political instability at the FCC makes it difficult for Beltway insiders to predict how the commission will react to the decision, according to the Washington Post.