KCET to rep BBC newscast, WLIW creating competitor

The BBC has signed a new distributor for the nightly half-hour BBC World News newscast for public TV stations — KCET in Los Angeles. New York’s WLIW, which has syndicated the show for nearly 10 years, will produce a new evening newscast for pubTV. Your World Tonight (working title) will debut in October when the BBC contract ends. Marc Rosenwasser, a former CBS Evening News senior producer, will produce the new show. The British pubcaster — which increasingly uses its own platforms, notably its BBC America cable channel, to distribute its productions beyond the sceptered isle — acknowledges it doesn’t want the pubTV newscast knocking heads with its new 60-minute cable newscast.

James Lee Mathes, 73, and Fred Burgess, 64

Two public broadcasters active in southern California during the 1960s and 1970s, James Lee Mathes and Fred Burgess, retired to Kansas together in the 1980s. They died within seven months in 2007. James Lee Mathes
James Lee Mathes, 73, a pioneer in public TV at KCET and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, died March 27 [2007] in his home state, Kansas. He had pancreatic cancer. Mathes worked on such KCET projects as Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series and an eight-nation simulcast, as well as fundraising and general administration.

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.