Sara Wittmeyer Joins WFIU-Radio/WTIU-TV As News Bureau Chief
WFIU is pleased to announce the appointment of Sara Wittmeyer as News Bureau Chief. Wittmeyer will head the award-winning WFIU/WTIU integrated Radio/TV/Online news division. Wittmeyer has nearly a decade of experience as a news reporter and previously served as Assistant News Director at KBIA at the University of Missouri, where she directed a large number of student reporters, formed a strong relationship with NPR News, and managed a multi-platform approach to news gathering. She was also on the faculty at the Missouri School of Journalism. Prior to KBIA, Wittmeyer worked at WNKU at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY, and at the ABC affiliate WCPO Channel 9 News in Cincinnati.
In Production: Dalai Lama Special
WFIU’s Megan Meyer is currently producing an hour-long special about the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center. The program will include field recordings of traditional chants, interviews with Tibetan leaders, artists, and local monks, as well as audio from His Holiness’s teachings in Bloomington and Indianapolis
Night Lights Online Fundraiser A Success
In June, the staff of WFIU’s Night Lights orchestrated an online-only fundraiser. A final count of $838 in contributions far surpassed WFIU’s modest goal of $600. David Brent Johnson, LuAnn Johnson, management and the membership department structured the fund drive so that it was mentioned only briefly on the air. Audio tags were inserted in podcasts of the program, and additional pushes for contributions were done through the program website, Facebook and Twitter pages, and various jazz Listservs. A similar drive for the program Harmonia begins July 20.
WFIU Connections Abound At Jazz In July
This year, Jazz in July celebrates its 20th anniversary. The concert series was started by WFIU’s Nancy Krueger when she worked for the IU Art Museum. For the last several years, Joe Bourne and David Brent Johnson have served as emcees for the event. WFIU gives away station promotional items such as CDs or “Cup Of Joe” mugs at the event, and enjoys plentiful banner placement that is seen not only at the event, but on television airings of the concerts.
Station Prepares For Fall Events
The fall is usually a busy time for WFIU, and this year is no exception! Here are some upcoming events where WFIU will maintain a presence:
- Fourth Street Festival on September 4-5th
- WFIU 60th birthday on September 30/October 1
- WFIU Benefit Days at Borders on October 1-2nd (tentative)
- David Sedaris at IU Auditorium on October 6
- WFIU Listener Reception planned for October 22nd
Pipedreams Host Michael Barone Visits Bloomington
In early May, Pipedreams host Michael Barone visited Bloomington to dedicate the Seward Organ in Auer Hall on the campus of Indiana University. There was a weekend lunch and lecture with Mr. Barone, with proceeds benefitting WFIU. Mr. Barone also recorded a Profiles interview and taped some fund drive spots while he was at the station.
The Score Premieres on WFIU
The Score with Edmund Stone is a weekly excursion into symphonic music in film, a cultural adventure through America’s best-loved art form. The weekly series debuts August on Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m. on HD1. The Score features timely box office tie-ins, memorable musical elements, and enticing weekly themes—all woven together into a fascinating exploration of the indelible movie music experience.
Putting The Fun In Fundraising At Nick’s English Hut
In mid-June, Nick’s English Hut hosted a “WFIU Night”. 10% of back-room food sales and all tips to the server and bartender went to WFIU. Some background: Several years ago, Nick’s waitress Natalie Cabanaw was considering ways to give back on a waitress’ income. She spoke with her bosses about creating an evening to raise money for local nonprofits organizations. The idea was that, once a month, Nick’s would open its doors to aid a local not-for-profit. Thus “Third Thursdays at Nick’s” was born. “It’s a great way for people who don’t have a lot of cash to help donate,” says Natalie. “It adds up!”
WFIU/WTIU News Bureau Wins 38 SPJ Awards
In April, the WFIU/WTIU news bureau won 38 awards (26 for WFIU, 12 for WTIU), including 10 first-place plaques (7 for WFIU, 3 for WTIU) from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. For the second straight year, WFIU led all Indiana radio stations in total awards won and first-place finishes. WFIU’s total of 26 awards is more than double the number won by any other radio station. In fact, WFIU won 42% of all awards given out to radio stations. In addition to wins by the WFIU news team, WFIU’s Artworks won two awards and WTIU’s Shameka Neely picked up an award for her work on President Obama’s inauguration.
Students Create Moments of Indiana History
For Bloomington High School North senior Bhavin Patel, the assignment “tapped an unexploited area of my intellectual capabilities.” For Steven Hosler, it was “a chance to see history in a new light.” Their assignment: Write a script for WFIU’s weekly two-minute program, Moment of Indiana History. The students in Pat Wilson’s advanced placement United States History and Honors American Government classes worked in groups of two or three. They chose their own topics, conducted primary research, documented their sources, and provided references. The classroom project was funded by a grant to WFIU from the Indiana Humanities Council. The students wrote about such topics as World War I flying legend Colonel Harvey Weir Cook, the Amish of Shipshewana, and Alexander Ralston’s plan for Indianapolis.
Positive Steps In PTFP Funding
PTFP (Public Telecommunications Facilities Program) funding was recently recommended for zeroing out by the Obama administration. However, there is positive movement in the House appropriations subcommittee that may slowly put the funding back on the map. PTFP is the program that provides matching funds for larger hardware/tech purchases like towers, etc. Much of WFIU’s tech acquisition has been funded by PTFP, and there are several projects pending right now that depend on the match.
State Budget Update
This week, the State Budget Committee met and recommended a 1.6 million allocation to IPBS, to be shared among the 16 stations. This represents an approximately 50% cut from the 3.5million allocation of three years ago. However, it’s what we had expected. Now stations will continue to keep fingers crossed that the allocation is approved at the governor’s level, and that the money is sent to the stations! In building this year’s WFIU budget, the 50% anticipated cut was factored in. The same goes for WTIU.
Mobile Giving A ‘No-Brainer’ For TAL Podcast Audience
It’s not the best way to collect big annual gifts from station members, pubcasting fundraisers agree. But This American Life’s producers confirmed that giving-by-texting among their many devoted listeners holds considerable potential. Beginning last November, appeals for $5 donations included in four of the show’s weekly podcasts brought in $142,880 from 28,576 listeners, as of April 15, according to Seth Lind, production manager. To donate, a podcast listener simply texts “LIFE” to 25383 and TAL receives a $5 donation, minus fees, paid through the giver’s wireless phone bill. As Lind sees it, text-gift appeals don’t make as much sense for TAL’s broadcast audience of 1.7 million listeners, which he describes as separate and distinct from those who download the show to their mobile devices and laptops. TAL podcasters are generally younger, and many of them are so into digital media that they may not be aware This American Life is broadcast on the radio.
“National Public Radio” Is No More
Well, it’s official. National Public Radio is now just NPR, reports the Washington Post. “Much like the corporate names KFC or AT&T, the initials now stand for the initials,” the paper notes. NPR hasn’t formally announced the rebranding but has told its staff and affiliates to use only the initials on the air or online. NPR President Vivian Schiller first publicly mentioned the change in June at D8, the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital conference.
NPR’s Nina Totenberg Wins This Year’s Murrow Award
NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg is the recipient of this year’s prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, CPB announced today (July 8). CPB has presented the honor since 1977 to individuals who “foster public radio’s quality and service and shape its direction.” It’s named for the legendary newsman who championed high-quality journalism during his three-decade career. Totenberg has been with NPR for 35 years. Her reports air regularly on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.
Empty-Pocket States Cutting $23 Million From Public Broadcasting Support
As states cut back their budgets, governors are often targeting public broadcasting along with other educational and arts programs. Some stations could face a total funding loss. Larry Sidman, president of the Association of Public Television Stations, said states have pruned at least $23 million from public TV funding this fiscal year. More reductions are expected.
Lakeshore Public Television and Radio Cuts 11 Staff Positions
On Wednesday June 30 Lakeshore Public Television and Radio implemented a reduction in force laying off 11 employees – four full-time and seven part-time. In addition, remaining employees will continue to work under a wage freeze, now in its second year, and employees who use the company healthcare benefits will pay 30% of the premium for themselves and 100% for family members. This action was taken due to the continued downturn in revenue, primarily foundation and grant support, lagging membership support and the uncertainty of future state funding.
KUT To Manage Cactus Cafe Music Venue In Austin
In August, Austin’s KUT will begin booking acts for the Cactus Cafe, a music venue and bar in the University of Texas student union. The station’s new role with its licensee university, announced in May after Cactus Cafe logomonths of discussions about how to keep the cafe open, puts KUT in charge of scheduling performances 200 nights a year and devising a business plan to make the money-losing venue self-sustaining.
CPB To Aid 7 ‘Local Journalism Centers’
Public broadcasters sought to recast themselves as part of the solution to the crisis in ad-supported journalism with a March 25 announcement of big spending on local newsgathering projects. CPB and up to 37 participating stations will invest a total of $10.5 million in seven Local Journalism Centers — hybrid news organizations that will produce multimedia coverage on focused topics of regional interest. Each center will be backed by CPB and a regional consortium of stations—the largest spanning five states — and is expected to become self-supporting after two years. About one-third of the licensees operate both TV and radio stations; the rest are radio-only. CPB selected five centers — in the Southwest, Upper Midwest, Plains, Upstate New York and Central Florida — from those that sought funding last summer.