Does the future hold a digital-age Corporation for Public Media?

Check out “An open letter to the FCC about a media policy for the digital age,” by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll, now president of the New America Foundation, via Columbia Journalism Review. One of Coll’s ideas, for CPB: “I’ve heard suggestions that new funding should be linked to more pluralistic formulas, including a restructuring of CPB to encompass new digital entrants, such as ProPublica, for example, or local sites like the nonprofit Voice of San Diego — a change that might be signaled by renaming the entity as the Corporation for Public Media. That may be ambitious politically, but it is certainly the right strategic direction. Any new funding regime should be measured by whether or not it will produce more serious, independent, diverse, public-minded reporting.””Any new funds routed through a reformed corporation should come with conditions. One should be that that PBS, NPR, and their member stations have incentives to work across digital media, and to embrace local reporting to a much greater degree than they do now (which is not much, overall; only 478 of the 901 stations airing NPR programming have staff of any kind, and only a fraction of those have a local news staff).

KQED now on Google TV, too

San Francisco’s KQED is the first pubTV affiliate, as well as first local TV station, to be featured on the new Google TV, the station revealed today (Oct. 29). Google TV allows viewers to use a standard remote-control to search and view Internet programs on television. KQED Interactive worked with Google to create a video portal for viewing KQED content on a large TV screen format, the announcement said. Check it out here.

KET gets “green” loan for network center updates

Kentucky Educational Television’s network center in Lexington has received a loan of nearly $2 million from the Green Bank of Kentucky program, according to the Business First website. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday (Oct. 28) that with the low-interest loan, KET will implement energy-efficiency and conservation measures, then the money saved through reductions in energy and utility costs will repay the loan. KET updates will include high-efficiency boilers and a system that will transfer heat generated in the studios and server rooms back into the building, high-efficiency light fixtures, and new water fixtures estimated to reduce annual water usage by about 50,000 gallons.

Bon AppeTweet!

Take an evening of local and national food programs, encourage viewers to interact via Twitter and what do you get? Bon AppeTweet. And HoustonPBS’s social media experiment with that awesome name was a huge success Wednesday night (Oct. 7) reports station spokesperson Julie Coan. “We got so many Tweets that it crashed the software we set up to count them,” she told Current.Food programs are very popular on Channel 8, and lots of local “foodies” use Twitter to share local restaurant info, so the combo was a natural.

Pubstation, Miami Herald partner to request poems about LeBron James. Really.

Southern Florida dual-licensee WLRN and the Miami Herald are going where no media has gone before: They’re sponsoring a LeBron James poetry contest. Yes, LeBron James as in the basketball superstar who broke the collective heart of Cleveland when he decamped for the Miami Heat. They’re asking for six lines or fewer, “with six being the number on James’s new uniform,” reports the New Yorker in its current edition. A “mystery celebrity” will select the winner and is expected to read his or her poem on the air before the Nov. 2 game. As of late last week, the mag reports, they’d received several hundred entries, including a few “hate poems” from Cleveland.

WQED announces new CFO

WQED in Pittsburgh has named a member of its Board of Directors as vice president and chief financial officer, effective Nov. 3, the station said in an announcement today (Oct. 27). Carol Bailey will be responsible for all of WQED’s finances. Her work on the board includes serving on the finance, business and operations committee since 2008.

Nature scores first-ever American top award from Wildscreen Festival

Here’s a unique award for an icon series. Nature has won the prestigious Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award presented at the 2010 Wildscreen Festival earlier this month in Bristol, U.K. It’s the first American production to be so honored in the festival’s 28-year history. It’s the top prize in the awards, dubbed the Green Oscars for their equivalent of the Academy Awards. The Parsons honor goes to “an organization or individual that has made a globally significant contribution to wildlife filmmaking, conservation and/or the public’s understanding of the environment.” It’s named for the late Christopher Parsons, Wildscreen’s founder, head of the BBC Natural History Unit and executive producer of Life on Earth. Previous Parsons award winners include Sir David Attenborough.

Pledge now, or it’s Scott Simon in a traffic ‘copter

Actor Alec Baldwin is helping out public radio this pledge season with his own, um, “promos.” Titles on the spots include “Ira Glass has been reassigned to a Spanish Pop station” and “Don’t give.” Baldwin also suggests moving Scott Simon to the traffic beat, “and keeping him there — until you give.” Or how about putting Supreme Court reporter Nina Totenberg on sports? Baldwin explains various giving levels, including the “Hollywood Level, where Kai Ryssdal does your yardwork.”