March [2012] brings major gifts for two pubTV shows

Philanthropists in California and New York contributed separate gifts of $1 million to two public TV shows last month. With her six-figure contribution to the Masterpiece Trust, Darlene Shiley of San Diego made the largest gift to date to the fund, established in January 2011. Shiley, one of the first donors to the trust, made a gift of $250,000 last year. Her $1 million contribution was made on behalf of her and her late husband Donald and will be split with KPBS in San Diego. The Masterpiece Trust allows major donors to directly support the Masterpiece strand of British drama programs on PBS while designating part of the gift to their local station.

With projects on hold, PBS hunts spendable cash, tweaks primetime schedule

Don’t tell the county fire marshal, but the president of PBS keeps working while her staff evacuates the building in deference to a fire alarm. Kerger travels, meets future donors, smiles dazzlingly at galas, and works some more with the determination of a distance runner, which she is.Here she tells readers:

PBS will propose hot-switching station breaks to help build audience flow, though the new practice would make it hard for stations to slide programs around the schedule,
The network needs to raise immediately spendable money, though she wants it to start accumulating an endowment,
Why PBS didn’t promise Bill Moyers a slot on Friday night in particular. Kerger spoke with Current editors in her conference room at PBS headquarters in Arlington, Va. The transcript is edited. Current: The proposed PBS budget for next year makes a point of concentrating attention on primetime.