The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a $2.5 million challenge grant to help launch Public Square, the public affairs multicast service PBS developed with its backing in 2004. Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen, former PBS Board chairman, announced the grants Dec. 14 during the Digital Futures Initiative Summit [separate article].
The foundation also gave PBS $500,000 to pilot Global Watch, a nightly hour co-produced by KCET in Los Angeles and KQED in San Francisco. PBS’s National Program Service will distribute the pilot, but the news program will continue exclusively on Public Square.
PBS plans to pair it with ITVS Presents, a showcase of films backed by the Independent Television Service with interstitial elements drawn from video blogs and viewer commentaries.
PBS must raise $5 million to meet the terms of Knight’s challenge grant for Public Square, according to Lea Sloan, spokeswoman.
PBS is discussing with the creators of the World multicast service — New
York’s WNET and Boston’s WGBH — whether to fold Public
Square into World.
posted Dec. 19, 2005
Copyright 2005 by Current Publishing Committee