[The Boston Consulting Group study for CPB] … gave public broadcasters an unfamiliar profit/loss sketch of their major functions. Local program production, which the report calls PTV’s largest single activity, takes 35 percent of its spending but brings in 16 percent of its revenue and accounts for 7 percent of its air time
A bold strategic study for public TV, commissioned by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, recommends that stations spend less on local program production and more on achieving high quality in national and instructional programs.If PTV fails to “invest fully in national programming,” it will see a “downward spiral” in program quality, audience and revenues, according to the report by Boston Consulting Group, a business strategy firm. The study, whose earlier drafts have been discussed for months in high-level meetings, was presented publicly for the first time at public TV’s Pacific Mountain Network and Central Educational Network annual meetings earlier this month. “Most of the managers say, ‘It’s terrible news, but I’ve known it’s there — I’ve felt it,”‘ says Joseph Zesbaugh, president of PMN, who devoted a day and a half of his annual conference to discussions related to the study. Despite the bad news, the consultants’ presentation won “far and away the highest marks” given by attendees in their evaluations of the PMN meeting, Zesbaugh said. The consultants gave public broadcasters an unfamiliar profit/loss sketch of their major functions.