Three talk-show staffers at WILL-AM in Urbana, Ill., are retiring, Illinois Public Media said on its website. Departing will be David Inge, longtime host of morning show Focus; the show’s producer, Harriet Williamson; and Afternoon Magazine host Celeste Quinn, married to Inge for 24 years after the two met at the station.Inge, retiring June 30, has conducted more than 12,000 Focus interviews in his 29-plus years as the program’s host. He started at the station as a classical music announcer, then became a reporter. He also hosted WILL-TV’s pubaffairs Talking Point from 1992 until it ended in 2001. Williamson began at the station as a volunteer, joining the staff in 1996 after careers as a medical librarian and nurse.
Now on current.org, a behind-the-scenes look at the work at Oregon Public Broadcasting in the months leading up to its scheduled national GOP primary presidential debate, canceled just days before the high-profile event.
Kartemquin Films is beginning work to form a permanent advocacy group to serve as a liaison between independent filmmakers and PBS, in the wake of the controversy surrounding PBS’s rescheduling of Independent Lens and P.O.V. and their subsequent ratings and carriage woes (Current, March 12, 2012). Gordon Quinn, artistic director and founder of the Chicago documentary production house, said he is in conversations to partner with the International Documentary Association on the effort.Public television “is not just another outlet for independent producers,” Quinn told Current. “The public aspect of it is of vital importance to us.”Following Current’s story, Kartemquin posted on its website an open letter to PBS expressing concern over its shift of the two programs from their longtime home on Tuesdays to Thursdays, which many stations program with local shows. Hundreds of filmmakers signed and the controversy was covered widely, from the New York Times to multiple documentary-oriented websites. PBS agreed to find a different timeslot for the shows, and its negotiations continue with reps from ITVS, home to Independent Lens, as well as P.O.V. Quinn said he and documentarian Carlos Sandoval are approaching 10 to 20 filmmakers to serve on a coordinating committee.
PBS’s fiscal 2013 draft budget, which the board today (March 30) approved to send to stations for comment, contains a 2 percent membership dues increase. At the board meeting at headquarters in Arlington, Va., Barbara Landes, PBS c.f.o., said this is the first dues increase for stations since fiscal 2009. Also at the meeting, directors unanimously approved a change in language in PBS’s common-carriage policy to align with PBS’s ongoing primetime revamp. The two-hour nightly limit was removed to accommodate three-hour programming blocks. The change does not affect total common carriage hours over the season, or station flexibility to preempt common-carriage programming.
Wisconsin Public Television will be testing a “text to pledge” model that it hopes will combine the immediacy that mobile users expect with the more nuanced interaction that stations need to establish a lasting relationship with members. David Dickinson, online manager at Wisconsin Public Television, writes in a post on the PBS Station Products & Innovation blog that the station wants to provide users the ability to text a number with a pledge for any amount, then the station will contact them to fulfill payment and become a member if they choose.That approach “may offer the best of both worlds,” Dickinson writes.”We’ll funnel half our mobile donation traffic to our existing page, and half the traffic to a new page asking for a text-to-pledge,” he adds. “After a few months, it will be interesting to see the results.”
Several basic partnership models have emerged in the growing collaborative journalism ecosphere, writes the Free Press’s Josh Stearns on MediaShift. There are commercial partnerships, often contractual agreements among newspapers and TV stations; nonprofit and commercial agreements, such as the recent NBC-pubmedia partnerships (Current, Jan. 17); public and noncom collaborations, connecting pubmedia outlets with one another or with other nonprofit news organizations (Current, March 30, 2009); university collaborations; and community and audience cooperative work, including APM’s Public Insight Network (Current, Jan. 24, 2011).”We are still at the early stages of experimentation with large- and small-scale collaboration across the news and journalism ecosystem,” Stearns writes. “Partners differ, motivations differ, needs differ and funding differs.
The FCC has selected three companies — Auctionomics, Power Auctions and MicroTech — to help it design upcoming spectrum auctions, reports Broadcasting & Cable. Leading the team is Auctionomics Chairman Paul Milgrom, a Stanford professor and member of the National Academy of Sciences who was the main academic contributor to the FCC’s original spectrum auction design. Also on the board of Auctionomics, reports TV Techology, is Reed Hundt, former FCC chair. Power Auctions, based in Washington, D.C., has designed spectrum auctions for Canada and Australia, and MicroTech of Vienna, Va., will lend technical expertise. Congress last month authorized the FCC to conduct auctions of TV spectrum to free up bandwidth for mobile devices (Current, Feb.
Denise Franklin is gone from her post as general manager of NPR member station WFDD at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. “There are a lot of talented professionals at WFDD, and I wish them the best,” Franklin told the Winston-Salem Journal. “I can’t comment beyond that.” Brett Eaton, Wake Forest spokesman, confirmed to the paper that Franklin is no longer employed by the university but declined further comment. Franklin had been with the station for 11 years, first as a news host. She became g.m. in 2007.
Rick Lore is the new vice president and chief development officer at Maryland Public Television, responsible for membership, on-air fundraising, major and planned giving, publications, outreach and community engagement at the station in Ownings Mills, Md. Lore had joined the station on an interim basis last fall following the departure of Joe Krushinsky, MPT’s former vice president of institutional advancement, who is now director of station development services at PBS.Previously he served as executive director of Friends of Milwaukee Public Television, the fundraising affiliate of Milwaukee Public TV. Earlier, he worked for nearly eight years as director of on-air fundraising for PBS, as well as director of development for pubTV stations in New Hampshire and Dayton, Ohio. He began his public television career in 1989 in San Jose, Calif.He’s won eight PBS development awards and is a frequent conference speaker. (Photo: MPT)