APTS restructures to support strategic goals for state-level advocacy, public service

The Association of Public Television Stations has restructured its staff to align with recently adopted strategic goals, including efforts to promote best practices, increase state and federal funding and support advocacy for the system at large. Two key staffers are stepping up to manage the expanding workload. Kate Riley, director of government relations, has been promoted to v.p., government and public affairs; she will focus on advocacy and state and federal funding. Emil Mara, v.p. for finance and administration, will direct member services. The reorganization follows through on a strategic plan adopted by the APTS board of trustees in November, according to Pat Butler, president.

Kansas governor proposes 18 percent cut to pubcasting support

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has proposed reducing state funding for public broadcasting by $100,000 for fiscal year 2016, a 16 percent cut from this fiscal year. Brownback’s proposed budget calls for a two-part reduction in funding that would cut state support by $12,000 this fiscal year, to $600,000, and then to $500,000 for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Eugene Williams, c.e.o. of KTWU-TV in Topeka, was not surprised by the proposed cut, since Brownback has consistently opposed state funding of public broadcasting. Williams had already adjusted his station’s budget to prepare for cuts in state support. KTWU’s received $50,000 in state funds this fiscal year, down from a high of $300,000 in previous years.

With shortfalls ongoing, Pacifica asks stations to boost income or cut costs

Amid a continuing financial crisis, the Pacifica Foundation is cutting costs at its five radio stations, a measure that could lead to significant layoffs throughout the network. Since the beginning of the year, Pacifica has imposed cuts at KPFA in Berkeley and at the Pacifica Radio Archives unit that will likely be effected primarily through layoffs unless new revenue can be raised. Pacifica’s board also plans to cut costs at the network’s other stations. Meanwhile, the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris is auditing the Foundation. Pacifica’s board was notified about the audit Dec.

Texas’s KEDT builds on alliance with local college

One of the smallest independent public broadcasting operations in the country will move into new facilities this fall under its expanding partnership with a local community college. For more than 40 years, KEDT-TV/FM in Corpus Christi, Texas, has been housed in a strip mall in what was originally meant to be a temporary location. Its unusual agreement with the city’s Del Mar College preserves its independence as a community pubcasting licensee while allowing the two institutions to share content and a state-of-the art broadcast and production facility, the new KEDT Center for Educational Broadcasting. Under construction after a ceremonial groundbreaking last fall, the center will be located on a prime site adjacent and connected to Del Mar College’s Center for Economic Development, and offer amenities such as an outdoor performance plaza wired for live broadcasts. The two institutions have plans to work closely together on content going forward, in addition to sharing the space and digital television equipment.

Pipeline addendum: more public TV productions in the works for 2015

This list supplements Current’s Pipeline 2015, published in November 2014 and based on responses to our annual survey of public TV producers. Programs appearing in this update, three of which are offered for national broadcast this winter season, went to contract late last year or were submitted after the deadline for the earlier list. Winter ’15
Mia, A Dancer’s Journey
Producing organizations: Slavenska Dance Preservation Inc., PBS SoCaL. Distributor: NETA. Length: 1 x 60.