Media executives, policymakers and scholars assess public media’s future

Public broadcasting executives, journalists, policymakers, and others met in USC's Washington, DC office on Monday, July 25 to discuss growing threats to public broadcasting stations across the US. The program featured opening remarks by Geoffrey Cowan, director of the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy and was organized by Adam Clayton Powell III, CCLP's senior fellow who has served in top positions at several commercial and public news organizations. USC Annenberg's Dean Ernest J. Wilson III also participated in the forum. Tom Thomas, Co-CEO of Station Resource Group, observed that while public broadcasters have always had aspirations that exceeded available…

Landmark FCC Report highlights CCLP research

For its new report assessing the national and local media landscape and offering policy recommendations on how to preserve the public's access to news and information, the Federal Communications Commission appointed award-winning journalist and CCLP Senior Fellow Cinny Kennard to the working group that led research, conducted interviews and drafted the document. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski publicly thanked Kennard in his remarks at the FCC meeting in Washington D.C. on June 9. Kennard (pictured below) assembled a research team that included CCLP junior fellows Rebecca Shapiro and Monica Alba, along with research associates Cater Lee and Sarah Erickson. They investigated…

Will ‘Face the Nation’ become ‘Face the World’?

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors is considering asking commercial broadcasters to donate their news programming to Voice of America and other international broadcasters. That was the word from Dana Perino, a new member of the BBG board. "Everyone agrees we should look into this," she said. "How do we repurpose things that we could acquire?" Perino indicated a starting point would be the Sunday morning interview programs – ABC's "This Week," CBS' "Face the Nation", NBC's "Meet the Press" and "Fox News Sunday."…

Public TV stations face challenges on West, East Coasts

All of the PBS TV stations in the state of New Jersey may go off the air entirely early next year. The New Jersey network's governing authority meets on Wednesday to consider how to survive – or sell. Kept alive by a subsidy by state taxpayers that is scheduled to end shortly, one option on the table is a merger with New York City's WNET and/or Philadelphia's WHYY. This news comes as KCET in Los Angeles prepares to drop PBS programming in three weeks in favor of an independent public TV schedule that starts next month….

NPR chief Vivian Schiller: Don’t take the work of news gatherers for granted

At this time of tremendous upheaval in American news media, its leaders should not focus on transformation at the expense of fortifying and expanding concrete, on-the-ground reporting. That was the message offered Thursday by NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller as she delivered the James L. Loper Lecture in Public Service Broadcasting at USC Annenberg. "For well over a decade, at gatherings like this, news people have obsessed about transformational technologies, vanishing business models and new paradigms of mass communication," Schiller told an audience of students, faculty members and leaders of influential Los Angeles-area media who gathered at USC Town…

PBS: End of the Old Boys Network?

Los Angeles station KCET's announcement on Friday that it is canceling all PBS programs is a dramatic, all-stakes-on-the-table gamble. KCET is gambling that, without hefty payments to PBS and substituting a new lineup of independent and international programs for the PBS network feed, it will be a smaller but sustainable public service broadcaster. For its part, PBS is gambling that KCET cannot possibly go through with its plan and will have no alternative but to pay the substantial dues required to keep PBS programs on the station….

Updates from the War Room

Cinny Kennard and her team of researchers are hard at work preparing their report for the Federal Communications Comission entitled Future of Media & Information Needs of Communities in a Digital Age (FOM) . Based in the offices at the CCLP, the team has set up a war room, spending countless hours researching each member's assigned area of focus. Kennard was approached by the FCC for this project, specifically to research the state of television news on commercial broadcast. The FOM project is led by Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the FCC, Steve Waldman….

Why does anyone really want to buy NBC?

WASHINGTON – Any day now, if published reports are accurate, cable giant Comcast will celebrate Thanksgiving not by dining on turkey but by feasting on peacock: Comcast is set to acquire NBC from General Electric. However, reports in the past few weeks touching on the financial performance and prospects of NBC Television raise an interesting question: Why does anyone really want to buy NBC? And why does Comcast, in particular, really want to buy NBC?…

Chernin shares details of Comcast plans to acquire NBC Universal

It would be better for NBC Universal to be owned by a media and entertainment company like Comcast than by a conglomerate like General Electric, says media executive Peter Chernin. He was the featured guest Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 at the annual Communication Leadership CEO Series, presented by CCLP in partnership with USC's Marshall School of Business and USC Spectrum. Chernin has been advising Comcast in its planned acquisition of NBC Universal. He did not receive compensation for his role in the talks other than a charitable donation made by Comcast to Malaria No More, a global health organization that…