CPB ends dispute with ITVS

Sapadin heads fund

By Stephen Singer

The new Independent Television Service and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have settled their differences over CPB’s financial support of the organization.

Independent producers and CPB engaged in a running dispute over what the Public Telecommunications Act of 1988 requires CPB to pay for the operation of ITVS.

The corporation’s “voluntary commitment to provide these funds to the service under its annual budget process reflects CPB’s commitment to the success of this service,” CPB President Donald Ledwig wrote Nov. 1 [1989] to Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif. The letter was made available by Waxman’s office.

Waxman, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees CPB, prodded the corporation to settle its differences with independent producers (Current, June 7, 1989).

Ledwig’s letter “does the job. We’re ready to close the file on that,” said Lawrence Sapadin, president of the ITVS, who was elected to the post at a meeting of the board early this month in Chicago.

CPB will provide $93,000 in overhead and promotion funding to the ITVS for July 1 to Dec. 31. Additional support will be determined by CPB during its budget rounds.

The ITVS board of directors announced it will develop three categories for funding independent productions. Producers may seek money to produce a magazine-type program, a series or programming in a general category for projects that do not fall within the first two areas, according to an ITVS press statement.

“They’re general frameworks we’re thinking of developing,” Sapadin said. It’s going to be fleshed out.”

ITVS officials will issue the guidelines by summer, said Lawrence Daressa, who heads the board’s search committee for an executive director of the organization.

The committee is looking for a search firm and expects to hire an executive director between March and May, Daressa said.

Finding a qualified candidate to be executive director will be difficult, Daressa said. “No one in the country has the experience doing something like the ITVS, so we’ve got a problem,” he said. “If we’re looking for someone to run a public TV station, it would be easier.”

The board has scheduled another meeting for Dec. 4 in San Antonio.

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