WQED Rolls Along

WQED Multimedia unveiled a strategic plan on Thursday to help continue its mission in the community and remain financially sound. This comes just days after the company dismissed 9 staffers in layoffs. The plan includes investing in programming and further strategic plans which could be collaborating with other public media outlets.

One plan is to change the acknowlegement of viewer support. General Manager Deborah Acklin says the station, and PBS, are both guilty of acknowleging viewers last (think “…and viewers like you”) The plan is to move that to the top of the list over the corporate and foundation grant acknowlegements to show the value of individual contributions.

A budget has not been set for next year (beginning October 1) but WQED President George Miles does expect “On-Q” to continue as a daily program returning for new episodes in September. He called the program, “the centerpiece of what we do,” referring to the mission of serving the community. Miles is confident that the organization is poised to grow.

Miles took a 30% pay cut in March and has no plans to further cut compensation for executives and sees no need for future layoffs.

PBS cuts distribution of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Last year at this time, PBS announced that it would be limiting the distribution of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to one day a week. Stations who wanted to continue airing the program daily could choose that option, but no more. Family Communications Inc. COO, Kevin Morrison tells the Post-Gazette that budget constraints at PBS and the fact that the network has a full program lineup makes the option of providing the program on a daily basis an expensive one. WQED, nonetheless, is making efforts to continue to carry the program on the weekdays.

Morrison says PBS is still supportive of Mister Rogers and has recently launched a revamped website at www.pbskids.org/rogers. “The put a lot of time and effort into keeping that fresh and alive, and it certainly looks good,” he said.