Let’s not do it: PTV Weekend is a bad idea

A debate on the proposed PTV Weekend experiment for two-nights-a-week advertising on public TV
Against the plan, below: Fred Esplin, general manager of KUED in Salt Lake City. For the plan: Mike Hardgrove, president of public TV station KETC in St. Louis. If we take up Larry Grossman’s proposal for PTV Weekend, we will do to ourselves what Newt Gingrich tried but failed to do: commercialize public television. This is a bad idea that won’t work — and shouldn’t.

PTV Weekend: Notes on Questions, Concerns, Strengths and Benefits

James Fellows, long active in public TV’s national leadership and founder of Current, analyzed the PTV Weekend proposal, when it was published in June 1997, on behalf of the Hartford Gunn Institute, a fledgling organization he was trying to launch as a planning agency for the public TV system. See also the PTV Weekend proposal and Current’s coverage of it. The Hartford Gunn Institute is an independent entity that is interested in analyzing and encouraging promising opportunities in public broadcasting and telecommunications. It has no organizational or financial interest in the outcome of the research work which it undertakes. At the request of Lawrence K. Grossman, former President of the Public Broadcasting Service, The Hartford Gunn Institute was commissioned to explore with key leaders in public television their questions and concerns concerning the strengths and benefits of what has come to be called PTV WEEKEND.

Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing, 1983

The Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications (TCAF) delivered its recommendations to Congress on Oct. 1, 1983, after extensive research, including an Advertising Demonstration Program at a number of public TV stations. Letter of transmittal | Membership of TCAF | Executive Summary
 

Chairman’s letter of transmittal

To the Congress of the United States:

In accordance with Congress’ direction in the Public Broadcasting Amendments Act of 1981, Public Law Number 97-35, the Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications hereby submits its Final Report. This report describes the Advertising Demonstration Program in which selected public television stations experimented with the carriage of limited advertising. The report includes findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Congress concerning the financing of public broadcasting.

Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing, 1983

The Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications (TCAF) delivered its recommendations to Congress on Oct. 1, 1983, after extensive research, including an Advertising Demonstration Program at a number of public TV stations. Letter of transmittal | Membership of TCAF | Executive Summary
Chairman’s letter of transmittal

To the Congress of the United States:

In accordance with Congress’ direction in the Public Broadcasting Amendments Act of 1981, Public Law Number 97-35, the Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications hereby submits its Final Report. This report describes the Advertising Demonstration Program in which selected public television stations experimented with the carriage of limited advertising. The report includes findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Congress concerning the financing of public broadcasting.