Detroit Public Television outsources programming to Public Television Programming Service

Starting Tuesday, Detroit Public Television is outsourcing programming functions to the Tampa, Fla.–based Public Television Programming Service as part of a corporate restructuring announced last week. Detroit Public Television CEO Rich Homberg announced the changes in a memo to employees March 28. The decision to outsource programming brought with it elimination of the positions of Dan Gaitens, longtime director of programming, and Joann Havel, assistant director of programming, effective Friday. In addition to the programming change, Homberg announced the creation of a new communications department. The department will be headed by a newly hired manager scheduled to start April 21.

Tuesday roundup: a pubradio brew; WGBH show goes national

• Minnesota Public Radio’s music station The Current will get its brand on a local craft beer this summer. The station is partnering with Minnesota-based brewery Schell’s on a limited-edition, Current-branded run of the brewmaker’s seasonal Zommerfest offering. Sixteen-ounce tallboys will be sold across the state, and all proceeds will support the station. • Public Radio International will make WGBH-FM’s popular weekly show Innovation Hub available for pubradio broadcast starting May 1. The show also airs at 10 p.m. Eastern time Saturdays on XMPR, SiriusXM’s channel of public radio programs.

• Detroit Public Television will provide a live video stream of the Beyond the Connected Vehicle Conference, a look at the future of transportation, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time Friday.

Detroit PTV looks to bring cultural groups together through its new arts series

Detroit Public Television is using its new arts series, Detroit Performs, to showcase the Motor City’s talents on a wider scale. Local reaction to the show, now 10 weeks into broadcast, “has been tremendous,” DTV President Rich Homberg said in a note to his Major Market Group (MMG) pubTV coalition colleagues. “Every day we are hearing from new producers, emerging organizations and raving fans.”

The series grew out of the MMG Arts content initiative, curated by WNET in New York City, and DTV’s five-year-old “category strategy,” which set a course for engagement and partnership around specific topics. Similar efforts include DTV’s Great Lakes Now, which evolved from a reporting focus into a conservation conference attracting more than 300,000 participants. “We wanted to find a way for Detroit Performs to create a voice beyond our city,” Homberg said.

David Oliphant of Pittsburgh Foundation

Foundations favor grantees with digital, local news chops

By giving two seminal news-related grants last year, the Pittsburgh Foundation broke from what chief executive Grant Oliphant described as the foundation’s history of “generic support” for public media. Answering the call from the Knight Foundation for matching grants to address gaps in local news coverage …

Opening doors to region’s inner policy circles

The Great Lakes, formed by melting glaciers 10,000 years ago, were ready last week for their close-up. Detroit Public Television, seizing an opportunity that comes about as often as a planetary alignment, televised 25 hours of speeches, conferences, workshops and meetings about the future of the massive lakes that nearly surround Michigan. Great Lakes Now, a three-day event organized by a regional group and two government agencies, was documented by DPTV’s live streaming and on-demand video of speakers, nightly half-hour wrap-up broadcasts and satellite feeds that extended the speakers’ reach south to Houston, east to New York and west to Phoenix. DPTV clearly demonstrated how a midsized public television operation could give people unprecedented access to those who make policy on local and regional issues. “Look at the role we can play in our community and communities throughout the country,” said Rich Homberg, DPTV president.