Infinite Guest, a new podcast network from American Public Media, brings together feeds of broadcast programs, existing podcasts and new shows in an effort to build a digital following for audio content. Headed by Program Director Steve Nelson, Infinite Guest debuted Wednesday with 12 shows, six of them new. The podcasts are headlined by a mix of established pubmedia talent and outside personalities. “We really wanted to be able to have a way to work with people who already have a great fan base, to develop their voices in a new way,” Nelson said. “So we went out and found some people we really think are talented and great and wanted to do something different.”
Three of the network’s shows are existing APM programs Wits, The Dinner Party Download and The Splendid Table, and another is MPR Classical’s Top Score, a program devoted to video game scores.
Eight years after the “For Sale” sign first went up on WXEL-TV/FM, the transaction resolving the future of pubcasting in Florida’s affluent Palm Beach region finally closed last month. WXEL-TV, which split from its radio sibling in a 2011 sale to American Public Media Group’s Classical South Florida, is to be transferred to a nonprofit headed by the execs who have managed the station through years of uncertainty…
As expected, the San Mateo County (Calif.) Community College District announced Dec. 7 it is seeking a buyer for public broadcaster KCSM-TV. In June, the college district said it was selling the station to end its predicted $800,000 structural deficit. Independent Public Media, a nonprofit consortium headed by WYBE founder John Schwarz and former WNET exec Ken Devine, has already signaled its interest in keeping the channel available for public media (Current, Oct. 17).
The FCC has delayed decisions on two transactions involving sales of public TV stations to Daystar Television Network to examine whether the religious broadcaster meets its criteria for localism and educational programming by noncommercial broadcasters. The scrutiny scuttled a deal involving WMFE in Orlando, pending for nearly a year, and held up a decision on KWBU in Waco, Texas. Daystar, a Texas-based religious network, has been in the market for public TV stations since at least 2003, when it paid $20 million for KERA’s second TV channel in Dallas. It most recently bid on KCSM in San Mateo, Calif. The WMFE sale fell apart after the FCC sent queries to the local entities that had been set up to operate the Orlando and Waco stations.
The merger of PBS member station WTVI in Charlotte, N.C., with Central Piedmont Community College was approved March 20 by Mecklenburg County commissioners in a 6–3 vote, saving the station from going dark. Like a number of other troubled stations, WTVI’s broadcast area is overlapped by other PBS outlets — in this case, South Carolina ETV as well as North Carolina’s UNC-TV network. The county will provide $357,000 to finalize the deal and $800,000 over the next four years for equipment upgrades. The college will use WTVI as a base for journalism and videography courses and develop a digital media curriculum. Elsie Garner, WTVI president, told Current the parties aim to complete the deal before the start of the fiscal year in July.
Two years after selling WXEL-FM in Palm Beach, Fla., for $3.85 million, Barry University has agreed to sell its public-TV sister station for $1.44 million. The buyer is the WXEL Public Broadcasting Corp., a nonprofit set up by the TV station’s present executives. WXEL’s 15-year custody by the Catholic university in Miami Shores began in 1997 when the school rescued the Palm Beach FM/TV combo from perilous fiscal condition. The stations attracted unsuccessful sale contracts, bids or at least inquiries from New York’s WNET, the Palm Beach County school board, competing Miami station WPBT and a longtime suitor, Community Broadcast Foundation of Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast. The latter lost interest when Barry University sold the FM station, says Bryce Combs, a group member and digital media consultant who managed Milwaukee Public Television in the 1990s.
On Dec. 15, 1999, the FCC approved a swap/sale deal that would have enabled Pittsburgh public TV station WQED to sell its second channel, WQEX, to raise capital and pay longstanding debts. (The deal fell through Jan. 18, 2000, when Cornerstone TeleVision backed out.)
See also separate statements by the commissioners. WQED developed the complex plan after the commission in 1996 declined to drop the noncommercial reservation on WQEX.