By having two or three big master-control facilities oversee the digital assembly and transmission of broadcast schedules for all of the nation’s public TV stations, the field could save tens of millions of dollars a year, according to Mark Erstling, CPB senior v.p., system development and media strategy. CPB will cover a big part of the costs of public TV’s first two “centralcasting” setups this year, Erstling says. On Sept. 19, the CPB Board approved a $6.6 million grant to equip a centralcasting facility in Syracuse, N.Y., for all nine pubTV stations in New York State plus New Jersey’s four-station network. The grant covers about 90 percent of the cost of the project, to be located in the new home of WCNY-FM/TV in downtown Syracuse.
Austin City Limits is a hot commodity based on a cool brand built over 33 years on PBS. In two years it moves its entire production site downtown in the Texas capital city to a cornerstone 2,500-seat theater in a $300 million redevelopment.
In 2012, when NPR moves to its recently acquired headquarters site seven blocks east of its present home, it will have much more room for growth than it had after its last move, with as much as four times the floor space. In 1994, when the network moved into its present home, 635 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., it had about 400 employees. The building, with less than 150,000 square feet, could accommodate just 480, NPR said at the time. The space was soon outgrown.