In a citation honoring Maine Public TV’s Kelly Luoma as the Charles Impaglia Programmer of the Year, PTPA lauded her “for tirelessly advocating for the audience and the programming community within public television, even when it is not politically correct . . . [and for] the singular achievement of increasing a station’s viewership every year since the digital transition, while the system has shown whole week and primetime declines.”
In another award presented during last month’s PTPA meeting in Miami Beach, Fla., Kentucky Educational Television’s Craig Cornwell was lauded for achievements in local scheduling. TRAC Media Services, which manages PTPA, cited Cornwell “for ensuring that local productions always get prime placement, for understanding a market where Best of the Joy of Painting often equals the Antiques Roadshow repeat on Saturday .
O. Leonard Press, who founded Kentucky Educational Television in 1968 after lobbying the state legislature for 10 years, has received the 2012 Vic Hellard Jr. Award recognizing his distinguished public service. The award lauded Press was for launching innovative live coverage of state General Assembly in 1978 and for his long track record of supporting programming that exemplified the KET tagline, “Bringing Kentucky Together.”
“We are so pleased that Len Press is being recognized with this award,” said Shae Hopkins, KET executive director. “Through his vision and hard work, he created and established KET as Kentucky’s only broadcast network and one of the nation’s preeminent public broadcasting services. From KET’s inception, Len Press set forth the educational mission and priorities that still serve the commonwealth and nation today.”
The annual Hellard Award, named after the long-time executive director of the state’s Legislative Research Division, has since 1997 honored excellence in public service.
The St. Louis public TV station’s Nine Academy, a program that trains individuals and community organizations to produce short videos on stories of “community impact,” received special recognition among the awards presented during NETA’s recent conference in St. Louis. In honoring the academy as the top winner in its annual awards program, NETA cited the station for groundbreaking community work. NETA recognized 20 public TV stations in 30 categories spread across four divisions — community engagement, content production, instructional media and promotion.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $3.2 million in grants to 10 pubTV operators serving rural areas, assisting with equipment upgrades that will replace aging equipment, strengthen broadcast signals, or build capacity for digital production. The USDA grants are earmarked for digital conversion and were awarded as part of a larger package of federal aid to 24 projects improving broadband access, telecommunications infrastructure and public TV’s digital broadcasts. Each of the pubTV operators have already converted their primary transmitters to digital. In some cases, the grants will help pay for upgrades of older, analog equipment, enhance their master control operations or strengthen their digital signals. Since the elimination of the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, which backed technical upgrades of both public TV and radio stations until Congress zeroed it out in 2011, the USDA funds have become increasingly important for rural pubTV stations.