APTS, NPR to assume management of 170 Million Americans outreach

By Dru Sefton

The Association of Public Television Stations and NPR have assumed co-management of the 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting website, which organizes grassroots support for public broadcasting funding. APTS President Pat Butler told the CPB Board at its meeting Monday (Sept. 10) that the two hope to “super-size” the effort by reaching out to other organizations.

The site, launched in December 2010, has helped generate hundreds of thousands of emails and calls to Congress to save federal aid for pubcasting. Its original co-managers were APTS and American Public Media. APM told Current in a statement: “APM, APTS and NPR have agreed that NPR and APTS — the national organizations responsible for representing member stations — will now co-lead 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting. Effective May 1, 2012, APTS and NPR assumed co-management of the effort. APM has a vested interest in the continued success of the campaign, and will continue working with the campaign in an advisory role. APM has great confidence in the leadership of APTS and NPR leading this important initiative.”

“The 170 Million Americans campaign continues to be a powerful voice for the American people who support a strong public media in this country,” said Butler said in a statement to Current. “APM will continue to be a national partner in the campaign, and APTS and NPR will now co-manage the daily operations. APTS is grateful for the tremendous work and dedication of APM for the 170 million campaign, and we look forward to working with NPR in this next phase of the campaign.”

At the CPB Board meeting, leaders of the national pubcasting organizations — APTS, PBS, NPR and CPB — also discussed the importance of federal funding (see related story).

In other news:

— Bruce Theriault, s.v.p., radio, told the board that the radio Community Service Grant (CSG) review panel is shifting its timetable to allow members to consult with general managers at the November Public Radio Super-Regional Meeting in New Orleans. The panel had originally planned to provide feedback for possible changes in policy to the CPB Board in October. Discussions include requirements for rural stations, minority stations and nonfederal financial support minimums. Theriault said the panel hopes to have its recommendations to CPB management by February or March 2013 and to the CPB Board by April 2013, with any changes implemented in fiscal 2014.

— Mark Erstling, s.v.p, system development, updated board members on the American Archive initiative to digitize and preserve 40,000 hours of public broadcasting content, in the wake of losing its digital funding last year (Current, Jan. 30). CPB has hired Crawford Media Services in Atlanta to handle the content. Erstling said it also formed an advisory panel to identify a “longterm home” for the massive library. Panel members are former WGBH President Henry Becton; PBS documentary filmmaker Ken Burns; John W. Carlin, a former Kansas governor and United States Archivist; Jeffrey Cole, director of the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future; Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Deanna Marcum, former director of public service and collection management at the Library of Congress; filmmaker John Ptak; entertainment attorney and CPB Chair Bruce Ramer; NPR’s Cokie Roberts; Stephen D. Smith, executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education; former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings; Sir Howard Stringer, Sony Corp. chair; and television director Jesús Salvador Treviño.

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