WHYY resignations reportedly disrupt talks about large grant

The departure of Chris Satullo from WHYY has complicated talks about a potentially large grant to the station, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Saturday. According to the paper, Satullo, former v.p. of news, and Matt Golas, managing editor of WHYY’s PlanPhilly, recently pitched to four major philanthropies the idea of starting PlanBurgh, a website about urban planning in Pittsburgh. The site would be similar in scope to PlanPhilly, a Philadelphia website that WHYY acquired in February. Golas and Satullo sought to raise $1.5 million, according to the Inquirer. The two were meeting with foundation representatives before Satullo’s departure was revealed Sept.

Growth in aid to media foundations aimed mostly at web-based efforts

Foundation support for media-related activities increased 21 percent between 2009 and 2011, according to a study that examined how private philanthropies responded to the increased fragmentation of the media landscape. Grants for traditional public media organizations grew at a slightly slower rate than other categories of media grantmaking, from $100 million in 2009 to $118 million in 2011, an increase of 18 percent. Yet major stations such as New York’s WNET and Minnesota Public Radio are among the top recipients of philanthropic aid. “Growth in Foundation Support for Media in the United States,” released Nov. 12 by the Foundation Center, is a comprehensive look at the scope and size of foundations’ investments in media.

Seeking the next $100 million

A review of public stations’ financial data over the past 15 years shows that, despite their widely divergent revenue trajectories, public radio and television have both made great progress in implementing structural and cultural changes needed to pursue new revenues.

Partner up, get local for best shot at funding, execs advise

Grantmakers at foundations increasingly look for public radio and television stations to move beyond traditional broadcasting and serve their communities in new ways — as conveners of public dialogue, as innovators testing new approaches for producing and funding digital journalism, and as partners in helping their communities tackle social problems.

Station execs who are veterans at foundation fundraising say pubcasting projects that touch on these key themes have a good shot at capturing the attention of grantmakers:
Emphasis on community engagement
Nine Network/KETC in St. Louis received a three-year $450,000 foundation grant backing its participation in CPB’s American Graduate initiative. The JSM Charitable Trust, a private foundation in St. Louis, awarded the grant last month to help support a series of events, programs and community-engagement activities aimed at improving high-school graduation rates. The station will sponsor town-hall meetings for teachers and students, for example, and is working with a youth-literacy group on a poetry project for kids.

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 …

Prenups: precautions for prudent producers

Too many couples were splitting up before the offspring came along. Or they lived together grumpily, keenly aware they shouldn’t have had that second date. Ellen Schneider and her crew saw it was time for an intervention. Schneider’s San Francisco company, Active Voice, has published a 25-page booklet to turn things around: “The Prenups: What Filmmakers and Funders Should Talk About Before Tying the Knot.”

Woody Wickham, 66

Woodward A. (Woody) Wickham, 66,  a strong supporter of independent documentary films and public media producers, died of cancer Jan. 18 [2009] at his home in Chicago. In more than a dozen years at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 1990 to 2003, Wickham helped support such projects as Kartemquin Films’ documentary Hoop Dreams, the Creative Commons alternative to copyrights, and Dave Isay’s StoryCorps, for which Wickham was the founding board chair. With MacArthur’s money, Wickham was a consistent supporter of P.O.V. and Frontline, local media arts centers and Kartemquin, says Alyce Myatt, who worked with him at the foundation. Wickham also supported the foundation’s work in human rights, aiding the International Criminal Court, and media reform groups such as the Media Access Project.

Target: sitters who could be teachers

KCET in Los Angeles unveiled a multimillion-dollar initiative to help prepare kids for kindergarten by training the adults who care for them. Two new daytime talk series — one produced in English and the other in Spanish — are centerpieces of the project. Through daily broadcasts of A Place of Our Own and Los Ninos in Su Casa, KCET aims to provide skills, information and inspiration to unlicensed caregivers and enlist them in the important work of nurturing early learning skills. These friends, neighbors and relatives of parents often work in isolation and have little access to training. Shaped by input from leading educators and formative research on its target audiences, the station’s education initiative has raised $20 million so far, including the largest grant in KCET’s history—$10 million from the energy company BP.

Carnegie I: Members, Preface and Introductory Note, 1967

A 15-member commission created in 1965 by a major foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, released its report, Public Television: A Program for Action, on Jan. 26, 1967, popularizing the phrase “public television” and assisting the legislative campaign for federal aid to the field. (Public radio was added later by Congress.) See also Summary of the report’s recommendations. The commission chair, James R. Killian Jr. (1904-88) had already played a prominent public role as the first White House science advisor, 1955-57, advocating emphasis on science education, the creation of NASA and greater funding for the National Science Foundation as the Eisenhower administration responded to Washington’s post-Sputnik panic. At MIT, Killian was a former Technology Review editor and wartime R&D leader who became the school’s president, 1948-59, and chair, 1959-71.