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…

Fund cuts for public television lead to mergers; is there life after PBS?

WASHINGTON – Coping with reduced funding by state governments and other sources, public television stations are pursuing diverse options ranging from mergers and consolidation to dropping PBS network programs. As reported in early July, funding cuts led to the demise of the New Jersey Network of PBS stations, which were merged into New York's WNET. The station had earlier acquired WLIW on Long Island, so currently, WNET controls PBS programming on stations well to the east and south of New York City. New York is not unique: San Francisco's public television station, KQED, acquired KTEH, serving San Jose and the…

NJ Public Television Signs Off; Other PBS, NPR Stations Threatened by Cuts

WASHINGTON — While the nation celebrated the holiday weekend of independence, New Jersey's public television network signed off for the last time and many other PBS stations around the US may soon follow suit. The reason: cuts in funding from state governments across the country. As I had written about on the blog last December, NJN has finally come to the end of its broadcasting days. The final New Jersey newscast on NJN was Thursday night. At its end, viewers saw a simple sign, "New Jersey Network. April 5, 1971 – June 30, 2011." As of that night, 130 employees…

Leading Journalism Association Spotlights CCLP Research on Funding the News

CCLP’s groundbreaking report, Public Policy and Funding the News, continues to garner media hits and attention of experts in journalism. On March 28th, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication cited the CCLP study in their call for Congress to maintain federal funding of public broadcasting. As research also points out, commercial media enterprises have —- for most of this country’s history —- received federal assistance in the form of discounted postal subsidies and tax breaks, for instance. Yet, Americans trust public media more for relevant, complete news. A recent Roper Poll listed PBS as the nation’s most-¬≠trusted institution….

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….

Loper Lecture in Public Service Broadcasting: David Fanning, Frontline & Ernest J. Wilson III, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

USC Annenberg School for Communication and the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy present the annual Loper Lecture in Public Service Broadcasting. This year’s honoree is David Fanning, founder and executive producer of Frontline, the weekly PBS series that remains as the only regularly scheduled investigative documentary series on television. Frontline has won every major award in broadcast journalism, including 39 Emmys and a special Emmy Award for excellence in documentary filmmaking; 23 duPont-Columbia University Awards; 13 Peabody Awards; and 10 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. This year’s program also honors Dean Ernest J. Wilson III, who has been elected…