Revised CPB policy could lead to ‘significant’ penalties for noncompliance

As more local pubcasters fall out of compliance with CPB’s rules for transparency and open meetings, they put themselves at risk of new financial penalties from the corporation’s Inspector General. Under a policy that took effect early this year, the IG has more flexibility to recommend fines for station grantees that don’t meet CPB’s standards for releasing financial records, for example, or for providing adequate notice of board meetings. One station — Lakeshore Public Media of northwest Indiana — has already been fined $5,000 because it failed to document announcements of public meetings. Many other stations are vulnerable to such penalties, according to CPB officials, who have been advising local pubcasters about problems with compliance during appearances at public media conferences. According to data compiled by CPB, more than half of its radio and television grantees didn’t provide timely notices of public meetings in 2013 and 43 percent did not release their financial records.

Historic folk-song collection inspires film, live broadcast on Mountain Lake PBS

Mountain Lake PBS will air a special live broadcast Dec. 6 to introduce the public to a rare collection of folk songs from the Adirondacks. The Plattsburgh, N.Y., pubcaster and TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York) are partnering on the presentation, Songs to Keep: Treasures of an Adirondack Folk Collector, inspired by the Marjorie L. Porter Collection of North Country Folklore at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Porter, a local historian and newspaper columnist, dedicated her life to preserving the tunes. Throughout the 1940s and ’50s, she traveled the state interviewing and recording musicians and singers and collecting songs, transcripts and writings.

More than $1 million in grants goes to KET for early-childhood online learning resources

Kentucky Educational Television’s Everyday Learning Collaborative today received more than $1.14 million in grants from the Louisville-based James Graham Brown Foundation and the national PNC Foundation. The new partnership among KET, the National Center for Families Learning and Metro United Way will provide resources for early childhood educators and families throughout the state, with a special focus on low-income children. The Brown Foundation’s grant of $818,775 is the second-largest private gift in KET’s history. As part of its Grow Up Great initiative, the PNC Foundation invested an additional $325,000. PNC had provided $150,000 in 2010 that helped launch KET’s Everyday Science for Preschoolers prototype.

Film revisits Freedom Summer for a new generation

Freedom Summer, a documentary directed by Stanley Nelson, recounts the turbulent 10-week period, focusing on efforts by the Council of Federated Organizations and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to enfranchise the segregated state’s black population.

OETA Foundation selects WPBT’s Jackson as next president

Daphne Dowdy Jackson, v.p. of development and marketing at WPBT in Miami, moves in January to assume leadership of the OETA Foundation, the fundraising arm of OETA-The Oklahoma Network in Oklahoma City. The appointment was announced today by James Cook, chair of the OETA Foundation Board. Jackson will replace President Robert Allen, who retires at the end of December. At WPBT, Jackson oversees renewals, direct mail, additional gifts, telemarketing, sustainers, viewer services, on-air fundraising, major gifts, planned giving, grants and marketing. Jackson’s department raises about $9 million annually.

Brendsel, PBS product development v.p., following Seiken to Telegraph Media

PBS just lost another executive to Telegraph Media Group. Jon Brendsel, currently v.p. of product development, will join former PBS digital head Jason Seiken at the London-based TMG in January. Brendsel will be group chief information officer, reports The Drum, a British-based marketing and media website. Brendsel has been at PBS since 2008. His past experience includes six years as senior technical director for America Online.

Localore “fires up local networks,” AIR’s Schardt says in CJR

The Columbia Journalism Review calls Localore “an innovative financing model may change the face of public radio” in an article out today. The project, which pairs independent producers with stations and began rolling out in September 2011, is the brainchild of the Association of Independents in Radio. AIR recently partnered with the Independent Television Service for a new round of funding for initiatives including Black Gold Boom. In the CJR piece, AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt said the project is working to transform the funding model for the pubradio system. “Most stations are really hermetically sealed,” she told the magazine.

Real Orange ends production next month at PBS SoCal

PBS SoCal is canceling its longtime magazine show, Real Orange, reports the Orange County Business Journal. The positions for hosts Ed Arnold and Ann Pulice will be eliminated, as will one full-time production job and two part-time positions. Other production staffers will be reassigned. The program has aired on the Los Angeles station since 1997. Production ends in December.

ITVS chooses eight documentaries for Diversity Development Fund grants

The Independent Television Service today announced grants to eight documentaries from its Diversity Development Fund. The annual call for submissions resulted in 114 applications to the initiative, which provides research and development funding to producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television. Selections include “The G-Force” by Pamela Sherrod Anderson, about grandparents raising grandchildren; “Africa Town” by Kathy Huang, on the migration of Africans into China; and “Metal Road” by Sarah Del Seronde, exploring the historical links between Navajos, traders and the railroads. A full list of films is here.

Texas Public Radio selects NPR’s Slocum to lead station

Joyce Slocum, chief administrative officer at NPR, takes over as president and c.e.o. of Texas Public Radio Jan. 6, the San Antonio-based station announced today. Slocum, a Dallas native, will be only the third leader in the station’s 30-year history. During her five years at NPR headquarters, Slocum also served as general counsel and, for nine months in 2011, as interim president and c.e.o. “We will certainly miss her at NPR,” said Paul Haaga, NPR acting president, “but are thrilled she is staying in the public radio family.”

Prior to joining NPR, Slocum served as general counsel at HIT Entertainment, a producer of children’s television programming, and as supervising attorney at Dallas-based 7-Eleven.

St. Louis culinary magazine hits pubmedia airwaves on Feast TV

Nine Network in St. Louis is partnering with the local Feast Magazine on Feast TV, a unique culinary show. Filmed in Producer Catherine Neville’s home kitchen, each program links segments on regional food news with a cooking demonstration that progresses through the half-hour magazine. “This medium lets viewers meet the farmers, the chefs, the brewers and winemakers who make up our culinary industry,” said Neville, also Feast Magazine publisher. Feast TV had been airing on the local Fox affiliate, said Terri Gates, Nine Network spokesperson.

Pittsburgh airport, subway travelers to hear local classical musicians via WQED

WQED and the Allegheny County Airport Authority today announced a partnership to re-launch classical music programming by local artists for the Pittsburgh International Airport and Port Authority subway stations. Content on “Q the Music: Pittsburgh Classical Network” will be provided digitally from WQED’s Oakland studios. It’s an update of the former “Classics on the Move” music programming, which had been funded by PPG Industries through 2010. The Airport Authority will sponsor content for one year, with WQED working to secure additional underwriting later. Similar music programs are rare among airports nationwide, the announcement noted, due to broadcasting rights and other issues.

Growth in aid to media foundations aimed mostly at web-based efforts

Foundation support for media-related activities increased 21 percent between 2009 and 2011, according to a study that examined how private philanthropies responded to the increased fragmentation of the media landscape. Grants for traditional public media organizations grew at a slightly slower rate than other categories of media grantmaking, from $100 million in 2009 to $118 million in 2011, an increase of 18 percent. Yet major stations such as New York’s WNET and Minnesota Public Radio are among the top recipients of philanthropic aid. “Growth in Foundation Support for Media in the United States,” released Nov. 12 by the Foundation Center, is a comprehensive look at the scope and size of foundations’ investments in media.

PRX partners on launch of searchable-sound database Pop Up Archive

Pop Up Archive, an online sound library backed by a 2012 Knight News Challenge funding, launches this week. Co-founders Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith write in a Knight blog post that their original goal “seemed simple: to help audio producers organize their archives and create searchable sound. As we launch Pop Up Archive publicly, our goal has grown much bigger. We want to make it easy for all storytellers to find and reuse recorded sound.” Partnering with Public Radio Exchange, they’ve made thousands of hours of sound searchable through auto-transcription, auto-tagging and sound management tools.

CPB gives $1 million to build and expand emergency communication services

Five pubcasting stations are receiving a total of $1 million in grants from CPB to expand emergency alert and communications services. CPB announced the grants today to WSKG in Binghamton, N.Y.; Maine Public Broadcasting Network; Vegas PBS in Nevada; WGBH in Boston; and Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn. Each will work with community partners and other pubmedia entities to acquire or develop digital wireless technology to assist first responders, emergency-management agencies and the public during disasters. Using pubmedia digital broadcasting technology, officials can send emergency information through text, audio and video.