Halfway through its three-year transition from one of PBS’ leading outlets to an independent public TV station in the world capital of film and television production, the new KCET is still very much a work in progress.
Usually the only speakers in the “public comment” period after an NPR Board meeting are several regional reps of stations, but they were joined Feb. 25 by Sue Schardt, executive director of the Association of Independents in Radio. Schardt spoke extemporaneously to the board and NPR execs about how public radio could address criticism that has undercut its case for continued federal aid. This is an edited transcript. I speak as someone who has 23 years of experience in the industry.
The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, a 30-year-old group that coordinated activism and provided networking and training for independent filmmakers, shuttered its offices and shut down operations in late June. The Manhattan-based association told members in March that it faced a financial crisis, but an emergency fundraising appeal didn’t generate enough contributions to maintain operations. The AIVF Board is looking for another group to take over publication of The Independent, AIVF’s monthly magazine. Although the board considered a scenario of eventually resuming operations, it’s unlikely that the association will revive, said Bart Weiss, organizer of the Dallas Video Festival and board president. “I wish it could, but I don’t see how it could happen,” he said.
At first glance, the girding storyline is whether Darrel and Juanita Buschkoetter, a farming couple raising three young daughters in Lawrence, Neb., can realize Darrel’s dream of farming his father’s land …
The Independent Television Service, the organization established by Congress to distribute $6 million in production grants to independent television producers, has selected John Schott as executive director. Schott who will leave his job as executive producer of Alive from Off-Center, produced by KTCA-TV in St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minn. Schott, who will be the first director of the fund that opened for business last October, said his duties will include overseeing the organization’s day-to-day operations, helping develop program direction and realizing “the mandate and philosophy” of the ITVS. The ITVS has a “specific mandate to produce TV programs independent of corporate desirability, independent of an insistence to be broad-based, large number-oriented,” Schott said.