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March Updates

Station updates for March 2010 from the Station Manager

Station Updates

WFIU and Lilly Library Host Event for Classical Music Fund
WFIU and the Lilly Library presented a unique event in March – a viewing of Early Music manuscripts, complete with a music presentation by WFIU’s Scott Witzke and Bernard Gordillo, and explanations by our own CAB member Becky Cape. This was a fundraiser for the Classical Music Fund.

Auer Hall Organ Commemoration Concert – Live Broadcast
WFIU will air a live partial broadcast of one of the Auer Hall performances commemorating the dedication of the new organ. Michael Barone of Pipedreams will be hosting. Plans for a lunch with Michael Barone are in the works.

WFIU Increases Online Funding Initiatives
Harmonia was the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation. AMOS has applied for a second grant to expand the video application.
Search for secondary revenue sources was expanded. Harmonia was used as the test, with a Harmonia Early Music Shop at http://indianapublicmedia.org/harmonia/shop/
Personnel resources were invested in developing an experimental online store that generates passive income. Earth Eats is under consideration for a trial online fund drive.

Station Automation on the Rise
Most of Sunday on-air has been automated. Saturday will be addressed next. Automation helps streamline staff resources, and reassign to reporting on Arts.

Vacant Channels under Review
WFIU filed an application for a vacant channel in Terre Haute, and one in Columbus. In addition, applications for an IBOC HD transmitter for Bloomington are underway. This will help solidify HD2 in the area.

WFIU Well Represented in IU, National Conferences

Perry, Christina, Phil, and Rob Anderson attended an IU Revenue Summit at the Kelley School of Business, sponsored by Provost Hanson. Christina attended the NPR Board meeting in D.C. and the PRIMA Regional conference in New Orleans.

WFIU’s Stan Jastzrebski Visits Auschwitz
WFIU sent News Director Stan Jastzrebski to cover the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in late January. He was joined by Eva Kor of the CANDLES Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute, eleven students and teachers from Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington, eight teachers from Terre Haute schools, and Terre Haute mayor Duke Bennett. To read Stan’s blog from the trip, visit http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/auschwitz-liberation-65th-anniversary/

WFIU Faces Funding Cuts
On January 7, WFIU was notified that its 3rd and 4th quarter payments from the state (50% of funding for the fiscal year) would be reverted back to the state. This amounts to a $200,000 loss for WFIU. In addition, Indiana University announced in January that it would be cutting $59 million from its budget.

Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me! Airs
As a result of November’s successful fund drive, WFIU was able to add Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me! to its programming lineup. The show, described as ‘the oddly informative news quiz’ by NPR, has garnered praise from multiple listeners. It airs Saturday mornings at 11 AM on HD-1, and Saturdays at 1 PM on HD-2.

Policy and Legislative Updates

Lower Borrowing Costs Allow NPR to Expand New Headquarters
NPR was recently rated highly by two of the big-three bond rating agencies. Input from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s has allowed NPR to add a seventh floor to its new headquarters. While the architecture firm Hickok Cole has already integrated the addition into its design, NPR must still obtain approval from Washington, D.C.’s Historic Preservation Review Board before it can move forward.

States Nationwide Cut Pubcast Support by Estimated $23 Million
Multiple states have drastically cut funding for public broadcasting as a result of economic woes. Larry Sidman, president of the Association of Public Television Stations, said states have cut at least $23 million from public TV funding this fiscal year. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting notes that more than 95 percent of public TV stations and 77 percent of public radio stations receive some kind of support from a state government or state-operated college or university. This is frightening news for stations, since it is expected that state budgetary concerns will grow larger through 2012.

NPR And Member Stations Propose Fundraising Collaboration
NPR executives and administration at large member stations are considering working together to obtain gifts of $1 million or more. In February, both parties met in Chicago and agreed to start planning the ‘proposed megagift campaign.’ NPR Foundation President Ron Schiller has initiated research to determine public radio’s best way to target the gifts. Though work is underway, a long-term collaboration is still tentative.

FCC Authorizes Digital Radio Power Increase (PDF)
In a press release dated January 29, the FCC issued an “order that permits FM radio stations to voluntarily increase digital power levels up to ten percent of analog power levels and establishes interference mitigation and remediation procedures to promptly resolve complaints of interference to analog stations.” The permit will allow most FM stations to increase their power by 6dB (four-fold). It also intends to resolve issues regarding digital radio interference from analog stations.

Public Media Outlets Converge to Provide Integrated Content

NPR has proposed a public media platform that would create an unprecedented amount of integration of web-friendly content between outlets. The web project would include TV and radio content from NPR and three other major public radio distributors, local stations, and other producers. Comparing the project to an enhanced information highway, CPB senior VP for radio Bruce Theriault, boasts, “It allows us to move things around, has all the rules of a highway, with merges, exits, speed limits and business rules. Everybody — no matter what kind of vehicles they own — ‘can drive on it.’ Content — audio, video, text and pictures — could enter the highway anywhere and travel under agreed-upon ‘rules of the road.’” Utilizing the Application Program Interface, NPR hopes the project will be approved by CPB in the coming weeks.

Other Stations

WGBH Boston Adopts News/Talk Format
In December, WGBH 89.7 FM moved all of its classical music programming to WCRB 99.5 FM. The result is a revamped WGBH that features a news/talk dominated lineup. Previously, WGBH and its 100,000 watt broadcasting capacity had struggled to satisfy both music and talk audiences. The change, made possible by a $14 million purchase of the commercial classical station from Nassau Broadcasting Partners, will pose challenges as WGBH tries to strike the right balance for its listeners.

Oregon Public Broadcasting Buys KWYA-FM
In January, OPB purchased KWYA-FM from WAY-FM Media Group for $85,000. The station, previously owned by a contemporary Christian network, is located in the far northwest corner of the state.

KALW-FM San Francisco Launches Experimental Website
KALW-FM launched a new website in January that combines local news, arts and culture coverage and community engagement. KALWNews.org includes reporting from the station, links to other local news outlets, and the ability for readers and listeners to post their comments. The website, described by news director Holly Kernan as “an experiment in public media,” is only in the beta stage and will be continuously developed into an “open source web publishing system for public radio.”