WPBT’s Schneider accepts chief operating officer post at WETA

Rick Schneider, president of WPBT in Miami, will take over as executive vice president and chief operating officer at WETA in September, the Arlington, Va., station announced today. Schneider will step into the position being vacated by longtime WETA exec Joe Bruns, who announced his retirement in April. WETA President Sharon Rockefeller said in the announcement, “I have worked alongside him in public broadcasting’s national organizations, and I know firsthand that Rick’s strong management experience is matched by his true dedication to public media. He brings with him superb knowledge of the national public broadcasting landscape and the complexities of managing a major-market station, and he shares our profound commitment to public service.”

Schneider will report to Rockefeller. He will supervise all senior managers as well as oversee WETA’s financial and administrative operations, local television and radio operations, fundraising, engineering and technical operations, communications, information technology, educational enterprises, and community and government relations.

Better programming would fix Pacifica, argues journalist

A journalist and former employee of a Pacifica station diagnoses the network’s failure to attract listeners in an article in the Leftist Review. The election of President Barack Obama is in part to blame, writes Kellia Ramares-Watson, because it helped to mollify the network’s left-leaning audience. But she attributes much of the problem to programming. Stations, she writes, “need to stop their attempts to represent as many of the disparate groups in their audience as they can cram into 168 hours a week.” New York’s WBAI, she notes, aims to serve many audiences by programming hosts in monthly slots and narrowly targeting ethnic niches. The station faces severe layoffs due to chronic shortages of funds.

Mobile donors want to contribute even more, survey of 20,000 reveals

Nearly 85 percent of donors using mobile devices would like to be able to contribute more money using apps, according to a new survey of more than 20,000 users by the mGive Foundation, which advocates for mobile giving. Those donors would like to contribute $25 to $50 via text, up slightly (from 82 percent) in 2012. Currently, those donations are limited to $10. Respondents say they like using their mobile device to donate because it’s easy, convenient and gives them control. Also, they want more information from nonprofits via text, the survey found.

iHeartRadio, personalized service from Clear Channel, picks up APM content

American Public Media content is now available on iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s customizable digital radio service with more than 1,500 live stations playing pop, country, urban and rock music as well as talk programming and college radio. Several APM shows also are running on iHeartRadio Talk, the specialty channel that launched today. In addition to APM’s Marketplace, The Splendid Table and A Prairie Home Companion, iHeartRadioTalk includes programming such as ABC’s Good Morning America, HuffPost Live, Bloomberg News and Motley Fool Money. The beta version of iHeartRadio Talk provides iOS and Android access, with full mobile functionality coming this fall. Also beginning today, iHeartRadio’s live-streaming stations include MPR News; Classical MPR; The Current, which targets younger listeners; Classical South Florida; Wonderground Radio, for kids; Local Current, featuring Minnesota-based music; Radio Heartland, with acoustic, Americana and roots selections; and Classical MPR’s Choral Stream.

Indiana pubmedia stations to connect via high-speed fiber network

A state-operated fiber network will soon link all Indiana pubcasters for the first time. Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations (IPBS), a consortium of nine public stations, will piggyback on I-Light, the high-speed network for local, state, national and international research and educational institutions. Roger Rhodes, IPBS executive director, said many stations will connect within the next month; others will come online as they complete their last-mile connection to the fiber backbone. The connectivity will allow stations to share content in real time and help them explore consolidation of back-office functions. IPBS is also drawing up plans for a possible joint master control; five or six stations are “very interested” in that, Rhodes said.

Delmarva Public Radio selects Whitehair as general manager

Dana Whitehair arrives this week as the new general manager for financially struggling Delmarva Public Radio in Salisbury, Md., whose licensee will be reassessing the station’s future in three years. Whitehair’s experience includes four years as g.m. of WNCW-FM at Isothermal Community College in Spindale, N.C. He also spent 17 years at University of Texas at Austin’s KUT, 11 of those as manager of technical services, and worked as a broadcast engineer at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y.

Most recently Whitehair was executive director of Foothills Connect Business & Technology Center, a nonprofit focused on expanding broadband service in western North Carolina. Salisbury University said in today’s announcement that WSDL in Ocean City, Md., and WSCL in Salisbury will soon move from their headquarters on campus to temporary facilities nearby. The university is building a new tower and replacing aging equipment. The SU Foundation will transfer licenses to the university, “where DPR is expected to form closer ties with SU academic programs,” the announcement said.

Mr. Selfridge is back in business for second season on Masterpiece

Masterpiece announced today that Mr. Selfridge will return for a second season. The drama, starring Jeremy Piven as the American entrepreneur who founded Selfridge’s department store in London, reached nearly 15 million viewers over its eight-week run, averaging 4 million per episode. It also recently received a primetime Emmy Award nomination for music composition for a series.

WLRN in Miami promotes Zuckerman to interim news director

Alicia Zuckerman, senior editor for enterprise reporting at WLRN, will fill in as interim news director while the Miami pubcaster searches for a replacement for Dan Grech, who was dismissed July 8. General Manager John Labonia announced the appointment Thursday in an email to staff. “Please be assured that the recent changes within the department will in no way have a negative impact on the direction, strategic plan or current operations of WLRN Miami Herald News,” he said, referencing the station’s decade-long reporting partnership with the newspaper. Zuckerman started her public media career at New York’s WNYC, where she reported and produced for NPR’s On the Media and later worked in the local newsroom covering arts and other beats. Her reports have been picked up by NPR newsmagazines as well as major series distributed by Public Radio International such as The World, Studio 360 and This American Life.

PBS scores 25 Emmy nominations for primetime programming

Primetime Emmy nominations are out this morning, and PBS scored 25 nods from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences — 12 of which went to Downton Abbey on Masterpiece. Nominations for the hit Edwardian costume drama include those for lead actor Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham; lead actress Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley; and best drama series. Other category nominations for Downton include supporting actor (Jim Carter as Mr. Carson), supporting actress (Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham), writing (Julian Fellowes) and direction (Jeremy Webb). Also nominated are the Live from Lincoln Center production of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel,” for special class program; Antiques Roadshow for reality program; the American Experience presentation “Death and the Civil War”; and American Masters for documentary or nonfiction series. A full list of the nominations is available at the Emmy website.

CPR, WBEZ, WUOT, WBGO lead 2013 PRNDI winners for pubradio news

Presented by NPR’s Scott Simon in Cleveland June 22, Public Radio News Directors Inc. honored the best local public radio news in 16 categories based on the size of stations’ newsroom staff. In addition, PRNDI recognized stations for standout news reporting edited by a national producer; these awards were presented in several categories without consideration of newsroom size. Top winners among this year’s contenders were Colorado Public Radio, Chicago’s WBEZ, WUOT of Knoxville, Tenn., and WBGO in Newark, N.J., which each received four first-place awards in their divisions. Miami’s WLRN and WBFO in Buffalo, N.Y., both topped three categories. CPR, WBEZ, and WLRN competed amongst stations with the largest newsrooms: Division A, for newsrooms staffed by five or more full-time journalists.

PBS NewsHour website redesign to integrate upcoming weekend program

In addition to launching a weekend edition of the PBS NewsHour, New York’s WNET has secured a contract to create an integrated website for the flagship series and its new sibling. The WNET Interactive Engagement Group (IEG), a subsidiary that specializes in developing customized WordPress platforms, will complete the web development project by December, but aims to make some enhancements before the Sept. 7 launch of PBS NewsHour Weekend. That new Saturday and Sunday evening news show will originate from the New York City pubcaster, while the weekday NewsHour maintains its longtime home at WETA in Arlington, Va. The redesign will be the first major back-end overhaul in 10 years for the NewsHour’s website, which is built on a homegrown content management system (CMS), according to Vanessa Dennis, online art director.