Restructuring at WKYU cuts three jobs, merges radio and TV production

Three staff positions — including that of the television station manager — have been cut at WKYU at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. The lay-offs were part of a restructuring that prepares the dual licensee for a potential 10 percent reduction in federal funding. WKYU staff members who lost their jobs are Terry Reagan, development director; Linda Gerofsky, TV station manager; and Dorin Bobarnac, engineer. Thirty-one employees remain at the dual licensee. James Morgese, a veteran pubcaster who took over as director of educational telecommunications at the university earlier this month, told Current that the restructuring includes creation of a single content division and allows radio and television staff to collaborate in producing programs for radio, television and the web.

CPB report to Capitol Hill countering “continued and pervasive” opposition to federal funding

CPB’s financial analysis on alternative funding sources for public broadcasting, prepared by consultants at Booz & Co.  and delivered to Congress in June, has had little impact on lawmakers’ views about continuation of CPB’s annual federal appropriation to date, CPB staff reported during a Sept. 10 board meeting  in Washington, D.C.

In the report, analysts for Booz examined a range of options for replacing CPB’s federal aid — from selling commercial advertising to tapping spectrum auction proceeds or selling pay-channel subscriptions, among others. They concluded that withdrawal of federal aid would have a “cascading debilitating effect,” starting first with stations serving rural areas and ultimately leading to collapse of the public broadcasting system. The dire predictions haven’t made much difference in swaying lawmakers on Capitol Hill, CPB’s government affairs staff reported to the board.  “I think it’s fair to say that in the past two-and-a-half months there’s been a little change in the conversation regarding funding for public broadcasting, and the idea of commercials,” said Michael Levy, CPB executive vice president.  CPB staff have been meeting with key Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate appropriations committees to discuss why a purely commercial model for public broadcasting is not a viable option. The Booz analysis predicted that public TV could earn more revenue from commercial advertising sales than it now does from underwriting, but the switch to ads would prompt a large portion of those who provide private support to the field —  individual donors, foundations and underwriters  — to withdraw their support, resulting in a net revenue loss.

If CPB is defunded, 130 stations are ‘at high risk,’ Booz report finds

What if Congress stopped allocating federal aid to pubcasting? The latest bleak financial analysis from CPB, released last week, adds some specifics about how service would be affected in dozens of congressional districts across the land. Fifty-four public TV licensees in 19 states and 76 public radio operators in 38 states would be “at high risk of no longer being able to sustain operations” if federal aid ends, CPB asserts in a report backed by Booz & Co. and delivered to the appropriation committees June 20. Congress asked CPB for a report on the field’s economic options when lawmakers approved the most recent advance appropriation in December.