New Hampshire Public Television is in collaboration talks with WGBH, as well as stations in Vermont and Maine, according to Foster’s Daily Democrat, which covers New Hampshire and Maine. Grace Lessner, spokesperson for NHPTV, confirmed the discussions but said no further details are available. Jeanne Hopkins, vice president of Communications at WGBH, told the paper: “We’re in conversation to see if there’s ways to collaborate. We’re looking at if there are things that would make sense.”
In June, NHPTV laid off 20 full-time employees in an effort to offset a loss of about $2.7 million in state funding. That’s about a 30 percent reduction for the station’s $8.8 million operating budget.
Lessner told Current in a Sept. 15 email: “NHPTV and WGBH are exploring a new model for operating that involves both content and infrastructure, and builds capacity in a way to better serve our local audiences. In addition, for the past two years NHPTV has been discussing ways to collaborate with other New England PTV stations in different ways. For example, we partnered with MPBN and VPT on a year-long series called “Making $ense New England.” We are looking to build on that success. Our loss of state funding as of July 1 this year has accelerated our discussions. CPB is providing encouragement in this process, and both CPB and PBS are aware of these conversations. At this point, we have no details to share, and it will be several months before specifics are available.” Mark Erstling, CPB’s senior vice president for system development, told Current that CPB is providing support for financial analysis but did not provide a figure.