PBS Station To Cut After-School Programming To Attract Donors
Reno, Nevada PBS affiliate, KNPB is cutting almost a third of its dedicated children's programming and all of its dedicated after-school shows that target school-aged children. Effective next week all PBS Kids shows on KNPB will end at 12:30 PM, cutting 2.5 hours from its current 9 hours of children's programming. The programming cuts will put KNPB tied in third place for the fewest hours of daily children's programs among 30 PBS affiliated stations surveyed in the western United States and the only PBS affiliate without after-school programming.
In an email response, Kurt Mische, President and CEO of KNPB, denied that the station is cutting 'all' programming for school-aged children, and noted that programs like NOVA, Nature, American Experience, and Great Performances "are of great benefit...and interest...to school age children." Those programs along with the Antique Roadshow will now air once a week at 5:00 PM after PBS News Hour and The Charlie Rose Show, which will fill the after-school time slots at 3 and 4 PM.
Mische indicated that the programming changes are being initiated to attract donors and money, which school-age children are not providing to the non-profit organization. He explained,
"Making our changes will allow us to serve a larger audience of viewers...and donors...who not only watch but help to financially support our important service."
Another PBS affiliate recognizes the issue, but has different philosophy regarding programming for school-age children. Ron Pisaneschi, the Director of Content for the PBS affiliate in Boise, Idaho (Idaho PTV) said that there is more programming competition for the attention of school-age children because of commercial children's television on the cable channels, but added, "even though the audience is small, we want to serve them."
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