Selections from the newspaper about
public TV and radio in the United States

PBS Enhanced Funding Initiative
A blue- and
red-ribbon panel

The Enhanced Funding Initiative panel [later renamed the Digital Future Initiative] announced by PBS President Pat Mitchell [during a University of Chicago conference Dec. 2-3] meets for the first time Dec. 15 in Washington, D.C., under the joint auspices of the progressive New America Foundation and a conservative counterpart, the American Enterprise Institute [Dec. 15 event].

PBS asked the panel to propose how public broadcasting can boost its funding to match its needs.

The co-chairmen are James Barksdale, president of Barksdale Management Corp. and former Netscape Communications president, and former FCC chairman Reed Hundt, senior advisor, McKinsey and Co.
Station chairmen: Kermit Boston, of San Francisco’s KQED, an APTS Board member and senior partner in BKB Associates, a management consulting firm; and Jim Rothenberg, of KCET in Los Angeles, c.e.o. of Capital Research and Management Co.

Well-connected PBS Board members: Norm Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute; and Tom Wheeler, president of the Shiloh Group and former president of the cable TV and cellular phone trade associations.

Others with political connections: former FCC Commissioner Mimi Dawson, senior public policy consultant with Wiley, Rein & Fielding, and deputy secretary of the Reagan Cabinet; Ken Duberstein, chairman of the Duberstein Group, chief of staff in the Reagan White House; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, a member of the White House Women’s Business Council and c.e.o. of Carlson Companies, a travel and hotel group; Hugh Price, attorney of counsel with Piper Rudnick, former president of the National Urban League and a onetime WNET exec; and CPB Board member Claudia Puig, senior v.p. of Univision Radio. [Ms. Puig did not remain on the panel.]

Prominent station chiefs: Henry Becton of WGBH in Boston, and Bruce Haines, NPR vice chairman and g.m. of Northeast Indiana Public Radio.

Ex-officio members: PBS Chairman Alberto Ibarguen, publisher of the Miami Herald, Pat Mitchell and Michael Calabrese, v.p. of New America Foundation, project director.

Web page posted Dec. 13, 2004, revised Dec. 15, 2005
Copyright 2004 by Current Publishing Committee


The only chance for a trust fund to provide stable funding for public broadcasting, is new unity and broad support, according to speakers at a University of Chicago conference. Pat Mitchell announced the PBS initiative at the conference.


Co-chairs Barksdale and Hundt share their hopes of what public TV could do, May 2005.

The panel, renamed the Digital Future Initiative, announces its recommendations, December 2005.


Dec. 15, 2004 briefing in D.C.: "How Will We Pay for the Digital Future of Public Broadcasting?"

PBS news release: Mitchell "charts a course for a robust public-service media in America."