Kansas dodges state pubcasting funding cut

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson yesterday (May 27) used a line-item veto to override state legislators on a proposed funding cut of around $1 million for public broadcasting, reports Channel 3, the Wichita NBC affiliate. “I know it’s going to save programming and some of the work we do in the community, because that’s a lot of money,” said KPTS President and CEO Michele Gors Paris. In addition to affecting KPTS in Wichita, the cuts would have had an impact on Smokey Hills Public Television in Western Kansas and radio stations such as High Plains Public radio in Garden City.

WCMU pubcasting truck vandalized

A Central Michigan University Public Broadcasting truck was vandalized between 5 p.m. Tuesday (May 25) and 8 a.m. Wednesday. The driver and passenger side windows were shattered, reports Central Michigan Live. CMU Police Officer Bill Martinez said landscaping stones around the PBS affiliate building in Mount Pleasant, Mich., are somtimes used for similar vandalism. As the news website notes, Martinez mentioned the building’s proximity to local bars as a “contributing factor.” Damage is estimated at $400.

New York Times journalist selected to head Upper Midwest Local Journalism Center

New York Times senior business correspondent Micheline Maynard will oversee the Upper Midwest Local Journalism Center, one of seven around the country funded by CPB (Current, April 5, 2010). Michigan Radio, WBEZ FM-Chicago and Cleveland’s ideastream (90.3 WCPN and WVIZ/PBS) are collaborating on the coverage theme of “Changing Gears: Remaking the Manufacturing Belt,” which traces the transformation of the region’s industrial-based economy to one with a post-manufacturing focus. In addition to her newspaper work, she teaches college and has written four books, including 2009’s The Selling of the American Economy: How Foreign Companies Are Remaking the American Dream (Random House). Maynard will be based in Chicago with three reporters and a new media staffer to produce enterprise radio feature reports, special programs for radio and television, and Web content. The stations announced Maynard’s appointment as editor today (May 27).

Skoler to lead interactive media at PRI

Public radio news veteran Michael Skoler will join Public Radio International as v.p. of interactive media on June 1. Skoler, founding director of American Public Media’s Center for Innovation in Journalism, established the Public Insight Journalism model for tapping listeners’ expertise in news reporting. His earlier reporting career included stints at NPR as African bureau chief, science correspondent and science editor/producer.At PRI Skoler will develop interactive strategies for PRI programs and spearhead new digital content initiatives. “I’ve learned that culture is even more important than strategy for success in today’s networked media world,” Skolar said in a statement. “PRI has both — a creative, risk-taking culture and clear-eyed strategy for creating value.”And this from Melinda Ward, PRI senior v.p. of content: “Michael is a true innovator, and his pioneering approach to interactive media and global journalism will thrive at PRI.”

Images capture emotion of LZ Lambeau

Click here for Current’s slideshow of LZ Lambeau photographs, shot by Senior Editor Dru Sefton. More coverage of the Wisconsin Public Television outreach in the next issue of Current, June 7.

S.F. news project launches as Bay Citizen

The Bay Citizen, the online news start-up in which KQED was to have been a founding partner, launches today with a top story on how San Francisco’s wealthiest homeowners benefit from a property tax loophole written into California’s Proposition 13. The public media group, formerly known as the Bay Area News Project, has recruited a team of 13 editor/writers and two interns; among them is Queena Kim, a Makers Quest 2.0 grant recipient and producer/reporter who left Pasadena’s KPCC to join the launch team as community editor. Editor-in-chief Jon Weber plans to partner, not compete, with local bloggers and nontraditional news outlets, reports the San Francisco Bay Guardian. “We hope we can be a supporter of the local media ecosystem,” Weber tells SFBG. So far, 14 indie publishers are on board.

LZ Lambeau outreach brings in more than 70,000 vets and supporters

Event organizers have announced the final count of visitors to LZ Lambeau, Wisconsin Public TV’s massive “welcome home” for Vietnam vets last weekend. More than 70,000 people attended over the three days, and some 26,000 were present for the Saturday evening tribute event (above, Current image). Despite rain on Friday, 1,244 motorcycles completed the LZL Honor Ride from LaCrosse, Wisc., to Lambeau Field. A TV crew from PBS affiliate WGVU in Grand Rapids, Mich., was there capturing the happenings and getting tips for its LZ Michigan in July. “It’s moving, and it impacts more than just, ‘Here’s a documentary,’ or, ‘Here’s an event,'” Timothy Eernisse, development and marketing manager for WGVU, told the Green Bay ABC affiliate.

Get your Tweet on at Wednesday webinar

Curious about Tweeting and the Monday Public Media Chats? Get up to speed Wednesday (May 26) at a Peer Webinar sponsored by the National Center for Media Engagement and American Public Media. Learn how to Tweet and Twitter and engage in all those other birdlike social media techniques from Rob Bole, CPB’s veep of digital media strategy; Katie Kemple, PR and social media consultant; Julia Schrenkler, interactive producer, digital media, Minnesota Public Radio; Jonathan Coffman, PBS product manager, social media; Adam Schweigert, director of new media at WFIU/WTIU in Bloomington, Ind.; and pubmedia consultant and prolific blogger John Proffitt. The one-hour webinar kicks off at 2 p.m. Eastern, register here.

APT appoints contracts manager

American Public Television’s new contracts manager is entertainment attorney John Taxiarchis, said APT President Cynthia Fenneman in a statement today (May 25). Taxiarchis’ experience also includes intellectual property and new media, “both also important to APT,” Fenneman said. Taxiarchis will report to David Fournier, APT finance and administration veep.