PubTV, radio rake in Peabody Awards

Pubcasters won 18 of the 39 George Foster Peabody Awards announced this morning by the University of Georgia. PBS led the field of 2010 Peabody winners with ten awards — two of which were presented to American Masters, the documentary series produced by New York’s WNET.Four Peabodys awarded to NPR honor international and investigative reporting, including a collaboration with Youth Radio and the Huffington Post. Three additional winners for pubradio were RadioLab, The Promised Land, and The Moth Radio Hour.Two docs produced by or in collaboration with local stations — “Lucia’s Letter” from WGCU-FM in Fort Myers, Fla., and “The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today,” by Jay Rosenstein Productions and WILL-TV in Urbana, Ill. — also earned Peabody distinction.The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication presents the annual Peabody Awards, one of the oldest and most prestigious prizes in electronic media.

Layoffs, program cutbacks loom at South Dakota Public Broadcasting

South Dakota Public Broadcasting will reduce local programming and educational services and lay off seven of 57 employees as a result of budget cuts exceeding $750,000, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Decisions are still being made, and details cannot be released until staff members are told about layoffs, SDPB Executive Director Julie Andersen said Wednesday (March 30). In the fiscal year beginning July 1, SDPB faces losses of more than $537,000 in state funds and $220,000 in other support, mostly money it has received from the Education Department to run overnight educational programs.

KCET reportedly in talks to sell studio property to Church of Scientology

KCET is in negotiations to sell its Sunset Boulevard studios to the Church of Scientology, the Los Angeles Times is reporting. Real estate brokers tell the newspaper that the station plans to move to a smaller location, and officials have been touring potential sites. The historic 4.5 acre site has been assessed at $14.1 million. Both KCET and Scientology officials declined comment to the paper.KCET’s lot is at 4401 W. Sunset Blvd.; the Church of Scientology Los Angeles is four blocks away, at 4810. Meanwhile, LA Weekly’s Media blog quotes a KCET insider as saying that its top execs are “going to leave the station burning and destroyed and walk away with money falling out of their pockets …

South Dakota Public Broadcasting shoots (video) and scores!

A South Dakota Public Broadcasting video has gone viral with more than half a million views, thanks to a spectacular heave-ho, half-court basketball shot during a fifth-place playoff game between Pierre and Sturgis high schools last week. Yahoo! Sports proclaims that it deserves consideration for “basket of the year” honors.

Latino Public Broadcasting hires Sandie Viquez Pedlow as new director

Sandie Viquez Pedlow takes over as executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting on July 6, according to an announcement today (March 30). In February, Patricia Boero, who led the group for three years, announced she needed to return home to Uruguay this month.Pedlow has been director of station relations for PBS Education since 2004, leading the training of pubTV station staff in the promotion and marketing of PBS online and digital media products and services. She also worked at CPB for 10 years, as director of programming strategies; associate director of cultural, drama and arts programming; and senior program officer. Pedlow was a member of the CPB team that managed the founding of LPB in the 1990s.She’ll direct operations of public media’s largest Latino-focused content developer and funder, providing programming to public television stations, multicast channels and other media platforms. One major project: She’ll be LPB’s executive producer for the upcoming six-hour series “The Latino Americans,” with WETA.Luis Ortiz, LPB’s managing director, will oversee LPB during the transition period. He will continue to manage the day-to-day operations in Los Angeles and maintain the West Coast presence for group.

Economist editorial: NPR may be better off without federal funding

The debate over federal funding to public radio isn’t really about how the money is distributed, and how much local stations depend on it, as so many of public radio’s own reporters have recently explained, according to this unsigned editorial by the Economist. It’s a targeted partisan attack that capitalizes on conservatives’ long running campaign to discredit mainstream media.

Red Green rolls on

How’d pubcasting fave Red Green come up with that name, anyway? “I was making fun of a guy who had a TV show in Canada, Red Fisher,” Green’s creator Steve Smith tells the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Green seemed like the dumbest last name to go with Red. Now they tell me I’m a genius because every stoplight’s a promo.” Green is still selling out stops on his latest tour, promoting his book, How to Do Everything.

WQXR’s Limor Tomer departing for post at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Limor Tomer, executive producer for music at New York Public Radio’s classical station WQXR, is leaving to head up the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Concerts & Lectures series, the Met announced Tuesday (March 29). In addition to her work at WQXR, Tomer also serves as adjunct curator for performing arts at the Whitney Museum. She takes up her new duties on May 1.During her time at the public radio station, she oversaw the transition to fully digital music broadcasting and the launch of Q2, an all-digital radio stream devoted to the music of living composers. She also served on the transition team during the acquisition of WQXR by WNYC (now operated jointly as New York Public Radio). Tomer also is a classically trained pianist, with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School.

MacNeil returns to NewsHour for special reports on autism

Robert MacNeil, co-founder of PBS NewsHour, is returning to the show to present Autism Today, a six-part series on the disorder that affects 1 in 110 children. MacNeil’s 6-year-old grandson, Nick, has been diagnosed with autism. “I’ve been a reporter on and off for 50 years, but I’ve never brought my family into a story — until Nick, because he moves me deeply,” MacNeil said in a statement today (March 29). MacNeil and producer Caren Zucker, who has a 16-year-old son with the disorder, introduce the series on April 18. In the first episode, MacNeil brings viewers to meet his daughter and grandson in Cambridge, Mass., to see how autism involves the whole family, including Nick’s 10-year-old sister, Neely.