PBS chief promises focus on arts programming

Posted on: January 13, 2010

Tuesday (1/12) on the news and research site Miller-McCune, Tom Jacobs writes, “Over the decades, the Public Broadcasting Service has distinguished itself as American television’s showcase of the arts. Culture-centric cable channels have come and gone, but PBS has ‘kept the flame alive,’ in the words of Paula Kerger, the network’s president and chief executive officer. But that flame has dimmed noticeably in recent years, as PBS’s cultural programming—which is expensive to produce and doesn’t necessarily draw the largest viewership—has gradually become marginalized. … That situation is set to change in a big way. Speaking before Town Hall Los Angeles on Tuesday, Kerger recommitted PBS to arts programming, both on television and online. She described an ambitious arts initiative with three components: An online arts portal will be inaugurated on PBS.org in April. Plans are underway to shift the television schedule so one night of prime time programming per week will be devoted exclusively to the arts. Depending on the success of fundraising efforts, this will likely occur either this fall or next winter. New material is being developed for the PBS Teachers website to help instructors—especially those working in school districts where arts educators have been laid off—to incorporate the arts into the curriculum.”

Posted January 13, 2010