ITVS issues first round of grants

…The announcement is a landmark in a long struggle for public TV producers outside of stations to gain an official place in program funding decisions. CPB bankrolled the service under a 1988 congressional mandate but long negotiations …

Independent TV Service and CPB finally sign accord

The Independent Television Service and CPB signed a long-delayed contract that will pass $23 million of federal money to the St. Paul-based organization through December 1992. ITVS, mandated by Congress in 1988, will give grants to and promote independent PTV productions. John Schott, executive director of the group based in St. Paul, Minn., said the contract guarantees ITVS “its proper autonomy” and provides for CPB’s oversight responsibilities.

Bylaws of Independent Television Service Inc.

Following up on 1988 legislation that they had lobbied for, independent producers and their advocates incorporated ITVS in 1969 [see Articles of Incorporation] and it began operations in 1991. ARTICLE I
1. Function and Definitions. The affairs of the corporation shall be managed by the Board of Directors. The use of the word “director” or “directors” herein refers to a member or members of the Board of Directors, and the use of the phrase “full Board” herein refers to the total number of directors which the corporation would have if there were no vacancies on the Board of Directors.

ITVS taps head

The Independent TV Service, the organization established by Congress to distribute $6 million in production grants to independent television producers, has selected John Schott 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.

Larry to the third power

Lawrence Daressa, Laurence Hall and Lawrence Sapadin are the collective mind and spirit behind the Independent Television Service, designed this year to provide independent producers with new opportunities to air public TV documentaries. The three Larrys attribute their success in developing the ITVS — endowed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with $6 million ordered by Congress — to being prepared when congressional hearings about the state of public broadcasting came to a head in 1987. “Instead of simply complaining and decrying the degeneration of public television from its original public service orientation, we actually had a solution and an answer,” Daressa, 43, explained from his office in San Francisco, where he serves as co-director of California Newsreel. Daressa, a 15-year veteran of Newsreel, one of the nation’s oldest nonprofit media centers, said the “solution and answer” was to give the opportunity to independent producers to come up with programming “independently of the priorities of the stations.” We’re different aspects of one urge, kind of a collective personality — for the field, for independents and for the public interest in public TV.

Quarrel kicks off new ITVS

Independent producers and officials of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have established the new independent television service with another quarrel. The two parties have negotiated — often heatedly — for nearly a year over establishing the service, which will distribute to independent producers $6 million of CPB funds ordered by Congress last year in federal legislation. At the long-awaited first meeting of the ITVS board of directors Oct. 17 [1989] in Washington, board members listened politely to CPB President Donald Ledwig pledge support to the new service but sharply criticized him in interviews following the session. The corporation will provide “overhead expenses” for the ITVS, Ledwig said.

Independent Television Service, Inc. Articles of Incorporation, 1989

ITVS was funded through 1988 legislation requiring the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to establish an independent program service “to expand the diversity and innovativeness of programming available to public broadcasting.” The nonprofit was incorporated Sept. 22, 1989 and after extended negotiations with CPB began operations in 1991. See also ITVS bylaws, 1990. To the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, District of Columbia:

Each of the undersigned, being a natural person of the age of at least eighteen years and acting as an incorporator for the purpose of organizing a corporation pursuant to the provisions of the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act, does hereby adopt the following Articles of Incorporation.