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Indiana’s Public Broadcasters to Begin Networked Operations

New Technology Will Enable Stations to Share Programming Statewide and Consolidate Operations in 2014

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Indiana’s Public Broadcasting Stations (IPBS) — a consortium of Indiana’s eight PBS and nine NPR member stations — will launch a new network service on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 7 pm ET, to coincide with a live broadcast of Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s State of the State Address.
The new technology will make it possible for IPBS to share both live and pre-produced programs over the air and online that originate from Indiana’s 17 public broadcasting stations and the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Through a $750,000 grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. interconnecting the stations via a 2-way fiber network began in the spring of 2013. “Broadcast content is only the first service application,” said Roger Rhodes, Executive Director of IPBS. “The network also affords the infrastructure needed to begin consolidating our stations’ operations to better serve the citizens of Indiana and to remain effective stewards of our multi-media assets and lifelong learning services that are essential to the communities we serve.”

The Endowment’s grant also provides for consultation services; development of consolidation models; and a cost analysis of each station’s base of operations. The accounting and advisory firm Crowe Horwath, LLP, has been retained to perform the latter financial services.

According to Steve Burger, General Manager of WNIN-FM (NPR member station in Evansville, IN) and Chair of IPBS’ Board of Directors, these studies will open the door to new and more efficient business models. “We anticipate significant cost reductions through these shared services, and the savings it would yield will ultimately be re-invested in the services we provide to our communities,” he added.

“This network is the gateway we’ve long needed to develop a comprehensive plan for the consolidation of a broad range of services, including a joint master control center, a centralized accounting center and the extension of our statewide public radio news service across all distribution platforms,” said Lloyd Wright, President and CEO, WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis.

Multiple operational consolidations are scheduled for completion in 2014. The end result for Indiana’s public broadcasting stations will be a more robust presence in local communities through enhanced multi-media branding, educational services and community partnerships.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Gifts of stock in the company remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, which is, however, a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the wishes of the founders, the Endowment exists to support the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

About Crowe Horwath LLP
Crowe Horwath LLP is one of the largest public accounting and consulting firms in the United States. Under its core purpose of “Building Value with Values®,” Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities, while also helping clients reach their goals with tax, advisory, risk and performance services. With offices coast to coast and 3,000 personnel, Crowe is recognized by many organizations as one of the country’s best places to work. Crowe serves clients worldwide as an independent member of Crowe Horwath International, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world, consisting of more than 150 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 100 countries around the world.

About IPBS
Established in 1975, Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations (IPBS) is the state association, representing the nine NPR radio and eight PBS television stations which serve and operate in Indiana. IPBS is a convening resource to connect member stations and institutional partners to accomplish exciting, community building, collaborative services for all Hoosiers. Their collective role is to provide engaging, educational and informational programming for Indiana citizens.

Indiana Public Media is a producer and distributor of public media from WFIU Public Radio and WTIU Public Television at Indiana University including your favorite programming from NPR and PBS.

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