Jeff Smith 2:15 p.m., July 27
San Diego State's KPBS Lags, New York's WNET Leads
Unlike San Diego State's KPBS, New York's public TV station is in growth mode
Almost everybody has heard the sad story of San Diego State University's KPBS. Its individual donor base has stalled and the state of California doesn't have any extra money to further subsidize public TV in San Diego. The operation has been slashing local programming, such as the late, lamented Full Focus with Gloria Penner. And in November news director Michael Marcotte abruptly departed. Some think the political agenda of San Diego State president Steve Weber is at fault, others think its pure mismanagement.
But in New York, WNET, owned and operated by an independent foundation, not a state-run university, is actually growing its local programming.
Here's a great story from today's New York Times that tells the tale of how ex-NBC news president Neal Shapiro is turning the station around, and doing it with local programing!