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Apocalypse
05-24-2011, 09:11 AM
New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/business/media/23pbs.html?_r=2&ref=business):

.... WMFE announced in April that it was selling its TV station (it will keep an NPR-affiliated public radio station) because it was unable to pay its PBS dues of just under $1 million annually. José A. Fajardo, the station’s president, said that the public television model was no longer viable because of decreased donations, including a 34 percent drop in pledge contributions from viewers.



And WMFE is not alone. In this financially troubled time, some PBS stations are questioning whether they can continue to find a way to make the PBS business model work.



In Los Angeles, KCET, a PBS station for four decades, quit PBS on Jan. 1, and went independent, citing PBS dues. Unlike in Orlando, a much smaller nearby PBS station quickly stepped up to continue providing PBS programming to the Los Angeles area.



This year, PBS narrowly averted another major loss in Chicago, where the board of WTTW-TV told management to examine the question of withdrawing as well. “Our board, they are smart business people, and when they look at our business model they scratch their heads and they say this is upside down from a business standpoint,” said Dan Schmidt, WTTW’s president and chief executive.



“Others pay pennies on the dollar and run the cream of the crop,” said Mr. Schmidt, whose station had a $4.2 million operating deficit last year. His station pays $4.5 million a year in PBS dues, and yet “viewers can see that content on other stations and increasingly, whenever they want to on PBS.org (http://pbs.org/),” Mr. Schmidt said.



What no one knows is how many other stations are contemplating quitting. The PBS station in Waco, Tex., shut down last year for financial reasons, and there are murmurs of half a dozen more stations, at least — no one will name them on the record — that are on the fence and could leave depending on whether state and federal financing fall through.



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Any one had any idea they had to pay such high PBS dues? Also, doesn't tax dollars go to provide this content?


And the part I love the most...



PBS is retooling its dues formula, which may help some big stations and will also require each market’s secondary stations to pay more…
Excellent. This is is just like the government raising taxes.
And that always works.

Arroyo_Doble
05-24-2011, 09:33 AM
I believe the dues are based on population. That may be why such places as New York, Chicago, and LA have more onerous obligations and find it more difficult to raise the necessary funds.

That wouldn't explain Waco, though. But then again, nothing can explain Waco.

Starbuck
05-24-2011, 09:34 AM
If PBS isn't toast, it is certainly in the toaster..

They got attention they did not need over the Juan Williams/Fox News firing and that hurt plenty, but I think there are a great many people who feel that the time for something called "Public Broadcasting" in a country boasting freedom of the press is just no longer necessary.

Arroyo_Doble
05-24-2011, 09:40 AM
If PBS isn't toast, it is certainly in the toaster..

They got attention they did not need over the Juan Williams/Fox News firing and that hurt plenty, but I think there are a great many people who feel that the time for something called "Public Broadcasting" in a country boasting freedom of the press is just no longer necessary.

NPR and PBS have a loyal following but they are rather odd inviduals compared to the mainstream pop culture. I think they are primarily modern "hippies" for lack of a better word. They prefer information to shouted rage and unbiased information at that. They are the kind of people who read Scientific American, Foreign Policy Magazine and The Economist as opposed to People and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Roger Ailes hates them with all of his being because they will never think of him as anything but a pathetic sideshow barker so he will make them pay for being such snobby, uptight, "liberal" Nazis who dare to reject his marketing of polical disagreement.

noonwitch
05-24-2011, 09:48 AM
PBS in Grand Rapids is run out of GVSU, so they can tap university funds. When it was new, when I was a kid, it still had a lot of local programming, like a book review show for kids, long before Reading Rainbow.

I like some PBS shows, like the cool Hamlet I saw last year with Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. I only watch when something good like that is on, I get really sick of the telethon stuff.

fettpett
05-24-2011, 09:50 AM
instead of going for donations, start selling advertising, might suck for long time viewers, but they might gain new viewers that see them as less of a leach if they go that direction

Arroyo_Doble
05-24-2011, 09:55 AM
PBS in Grand Rapids is run out of GVSU, so they can tap university funds. When it was new, when I was a kid, it still had a lot of local programming, like a book review show for kids, long before Reading Rainbow.

I like some PBS shows, like the cool Hamlet I saw last year with Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. I only watch when something good like that is on, I get really sick of the telethon stuff.

Nothing on television comes close to Frontline in the area of investigative journalism. Ghosts of Rwanda is without a doubt one of the best news pieces made.

And The Civil War, Baseball, and The Commanding Heights were all PBS documentaries. Sure, Survivor: Bangaldesh or The Biggest Cold Sore are probably more popular but it is nice to have some cerebral shows to watch occassionally.

Odysseus
05-24-2011, 03:01 PM
NPR and PBS have a loyal following but they are rather odd inviduals compared to the mainstream pop culture. I think they are primarily modern "hippies" for lack of a better word. They prefer information to shouted rage and unbiased information at that. They are the kind of people who read Scientific American, Foreign Policy Magazine and The Economist as opposed to People and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
Modern hippies are more likely to read Rolling Stone and High Times than Foreign Policy Magazine or the Economist, unless the Economist has an article on the best grow lights for getting maximum yield from your buds.


Roger Ailes hates them with all of his being because they will never think of him as anything but a pathetic sideshow barker so he will make them pay for being such snobby, uptight, "liberal" Nazis who dare to reject his marketing of polical disagreement.

I doubt that Ailes gives PBS much thought. He's too busy producing news that people actually watch.

Arroyo_Doble
05-24-2011, 03:21 PM
He's too busy producing news that people actually watch.

I agree.