Kerger describes factionalism within pubTV as system’s greatest threat

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — PBS President Paula Kerger called for local public TV stations and PBS to move beyond their reputations as a “dysfunctional family” to embrace “the power of a collective system” to strengthen their public service. In a keynote speech opening this year’s PBS Annual Meeting, Kerger said public television has reached an important moment in its history — one that she considers to be “the most important moment of my tenure” as PBS president. Kerger pointed to the outpouring of support for public TV when its federal funding came under attack during the fall presidential elections and the international attention and praise that accrued to PBS and stations following the blockbuster Masterpiece Classic hit Downton Abbey. “We have the potential to accomplish great things,” Kerger said.

Ken Burns, defending PBS in USA Today, pits Reagan’s words against Romney’s

PBS documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, whose extensive credits include The Civil War, Baseball and the upcoming The Dust Bowl, authored an editorial in Tuesday’s USA Today in which he said that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney “knows the price of things, but he clearly doesn’t know their value.” Romney has attracted the ire of the pubcasting community for frequently stating throughout his campaign that he would cut funding to CPB, and he reiterated his intent to do so during last week’s presidential debate. Burns recalled filming The Civil War in the late 1980s, during which time he visited then-President Ronald Reagan in the White House. At the time, according to Burns, Reagan expressed his support and admiration for both the National Endowment for the Humanities and CPB, two government-funded entities that backed the film. “Reagan put both hands on my shoulder and said, ‘That’s it!