Author Archives: Florida Public Media
By David McGowan, President and CEO, WJCT Public Media
The recent round of staff buyouts affecting The Florida Times-Union newsroom provided the latest evidence, if any were needed, that the business model of local newspapers is fundamentally broken.
COVID-19 is playing the role of accelerant on a raging fire initially brought on by changing news consumption habits, an over-reliance on advertising and a reluctance or inability to change. The hedge fund and private equity-driven nature of today’s newspaper ownership groups is also a factor, but the consolidation of declining industries usually attracts a certain ruthlessness.
Despite its staff losses, the Times-Union’s newsroom has shown how valuable courageous, enterprising journalism can be to a community. Under the leadership of Editor Mary Kelli Palka, the T-U, a WJCT News partner, has both broken and doggedly pursued stories that have had real and measurable impact. From JEA to Lot J and lots of other stories, the T-U has engaged us all in the civic life of this region in ways large and small that many readers have come to take for granted. It’s also worth remembering that many of these lines of inquiry were not very popular when investigative reporters began them.
But as papers decline, and evidence continues to mount that the crisis in local journalism is having a wide range of negative effects on American public life, new and innovative solutions are being found as local communities rise to meet the challenge. Nonprofit online news services, often working collaboratively with the for-profit newsrooms in their regions, are emerging at a rapid pace.
The Institute for Non-Profit News reports that there are now more than 250 nonprofit newsrooms across the country, and their growth has been steady. Though these newsrooms now employ only a fraction of the more than 28,000 journalism jobs lost from 2008 to 2018, the sector demonstrates increasing levels of impact and sustainability. Importantly, over 40 percent of revenues to the Institute for Non-Profit News members serving local audiences now come from individual supporters.
The growth in local nonprofit digital news comes as the Pew Research Center found that in 2018, roughly 40 percent of adults preferred to get their local news from online sources, with more than three-quarters (77 percent) saying the internet is important in how they receive local news. This squares with WJCT’s own research in 2018, which found that most locals would prefer new local coverage to be offered online. If trends continue at the current pace, online sources are set to become Americans’ top choice for local news, supplanting local TV news broadcasts, within the next year or two.
At WJCT we have been working hard to ensure that we can drive this exciting nonprofit and digital future for local journalism. Not only are we devoting more radio air time to local news than ever — having recently made WJCT News 89.9 into an all-news and talk station — but we’ve also invested in creating a set of online products like ADAPT (adaptflorida.org) that point in the direction we’re headed.
Now, thanks to significant support from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation (a national foundation with its headquarters in Jacksonville), we’re embarking on an expansion of our newsroom that will enable us to begin to build the kind of reporting resources necessary to cover the region more effectively while meeting audiences in new ways.
We approach this task with both determination and humility, and with the knowledge that no single local news organization can give this community all of the quality journalism it deserves. But as the region’s leading user-supported nonprofit news provider, we embrace the moment and all that it requires of us.
WMFE REPORTER AMY GREEN’S ‘DRAINED’ PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FLORIDA CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
ORLANDO — In 2000, President Bill Clinton quietly signed into law a plan to restore the Everglades. Twenty years and $17 billion later, the grandiose vision of reversing decades of environmental damage remains stuck in the swamp.
In DRAINED, a new four-part podcast out Dec. 8 from WMFE and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, host Amy Green wades into the controversy around one of the most ambitious environmental restoration efforts ever undertaken.
From rivers of toxic slime to a mind-boggling plan to inject a giant bubble of freshwater a thousand feet underground, DRAINED examines the massive plan to restore the river of grass and poses the big question about the future of this natural wonder: Can it be saved?
WMFE environmental reporter Amy Green
“The plan to save the Everglades is enormous and enormously complicated, but it’s so important to Florida’s future,” Green said. “I have dedicated much of the last 10 years of my career to telling this story, one that embodies humankind’s relationship — and conquest — of nature and all the consequences associated with that. In many ways the story is personal for me, having grown up in Florida and now that I am raising my 6-year-old daughter here. I thank WMFE and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting for their continued support of my work and for providing a platform for this important story.”
Trevor Aaronson, executive director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, said the Everglades deserves our attention.
“For Florida, the Everglades are iconic. But I suspect that few Floridians realize how badly we’ve messed up the wetlands that have come to symbolize our state — and how our efforts to restore the Everglades, now going on 20 years, have been both enormously ambitious and jaw-droppingly harebrained,” Aaronson said. “In this four-episode podcast, Amy Green masterfully explains our destructive relationship with the Everglades. As a nonprofit journalism organization, FCIR is proud to partner with Amy and WMFE for this in-depth reporting and storytelling.”
This is the third partnership for WMFE and FCIR. In 2018, WMFE and FCIR partnered on an investigative series about climate change and state government inaction. Green’s reporting for the series won awards from the SPJ Sunshine State Awards and the Florida Associated Press Professional Broadcasters Contest. In 2012, WMFE and FCIR partnered on a print and radio package about Big Sugar and government subsidies. Green’s reporting for that partnership won honors from the Green Eyeshade Awards, a journalism competition throughout the Southeast.
“WMFE is proud to partner with the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting to shine a light on another important but often overlooked environmental issue in our state,” said Erika Pulley-Hayes, president and CEO of WMFE. “Amy’s immersive reporting and the voices and natural sounds bring this story to life for the listener and make the pressing issues of the River of Grass hard to ignore.”
DRAINED is reported and hosted by Amy Green, and edited by FCIR Executive Director Trevor Aaronson and WMFE News Director Matthew Peddie. Mix and sound design by Paul Vaitkus. Mac Dula, Jenny Babcock and Ryan Ellison provided additional production help. Cliff Tumetel also contributed. Special thanks to Johns Hopkins University Press.
About Amy Green
Amy Green covers the environment for WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. She began her career at The Associated Press. Her book on the Everglades will be published in March 2021 by Johns Hopkins University Press. Green was raised in Florida and lives in Orlando with her 6-year-old daughter. Learn more and read her latest stories at wmfe.org/author/agreen
The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization supported by foundations and individual contributions. Founded in 2010, FCIR produces award-winning public-service journalism in partnership with traditional and ethnic news media in Florida and across the nation. For more information, visit fcir.org.
Community Communications Inc. is a locally owned, and operated, non-profit public media organization that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Ocala and surrounding counties. Listener-supported Community Communications has been serving the community since 1980 with trusted news and programming from a local, national and international perspective. Visit wmfe.orgfor more information.
# # #
MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact Communications & Marketing Specialist Jenny Babcock at email@example.com or 407-273-2300 ext. 112.
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA – WGCU General Manager Rick Johnson recently announced his intention to retire from that post on June 1, 2021.
Johnson’s career in broadcast media spans 52 years, with four decades and eight sets of call letters to his credit before he joined WGCU as GM 12 years ago.
In an email to staff and the WGCU Public Media Advisory Board Oct. 6, Johnson outlined his immediate and continuing vision for WGCU as assuming a greater role as the media outlet of record and public interest journalism in Southwest Florida.
Johnson’s tenure in public media includes PBS stations in Seattle and Albuquerque, followed by deep ties to Florida stations. Since January 1991, he has been involved with virtually every aspect of public media in Florida, in Tallahassee and Jacksonville prior to Southwest Florida and WGCU.
“Rick Johnson is one of public media’s outstanding leaders – not just in Florida but everywhere he has served,” said Patrick Yack, executive director, Florida Public Media. “He has been a thoughtful, engaging and inspiring member of the Florida Public Media Board and he was an exceptional chair. Always dedicated to our mission, Rick has left an indelible mark on our craft and our profession.”
“Southwest Florida WGCU members have benefited from his vision and the execution of the outstanding team he assembled,” said advisory board chair Judy Bricker. “The station has realized its potential with Johnson at the helm and will now reach to a new and higher set of goals thanks to his continued vision.”
“Rick’s depth of experience will be sorely missed at WGCU, but he well deserves the time to begin his next chapter,” said Katherine (Kitty) Green, FGCU vice president, University Advancement, and executive director, FGCU Foundation.
A national search will ensue for his replacement.
Johnson concluded his announcement with this: “In addition to it having been an honor and a privilege it has also been a pleasure to work alongside all of you through the proverbial thick and thin to make WGCU one of the most successful, most-watched, most-listened-to, and most-well-supported public media organizations in the country.”
WGCU is Southwest Florida’s source for PBS and NPR. A member-supported service of Florida Gulf Coast University, WGCU provides educational programming that inspires, informs and engages our community. Serving all or part of 12 counties in south and Southwest Florida, with five distinct digital TV channels, two FM radio channels, two HD radio channels, and multiple websites, WGCU delivers national and international programming, and develops, produces and delivers relevant, informative and educational local programs to the region. More information about WGCU is available online at WGCU.org, and by following us on Facebook at wgcupublicmedia, on Twitter @wgcu and Instagram @wgcupublicmedia.
Funding will support production of new educational content and local community engagement that equips young learners with key skills for success
Oct 07, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 7, 2020) – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS have received a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. The grant will provide $24,322,018 in year one of a five-year cycle* to fund CPB and PBS’ comprehensive multi-media learning and station engagement initiative, which will connect children’s media and learning environments to build key skills for success.
The initiative will result in the development of new content that helps young children build vital skills to help them succeed in school and life, including functional literacy, critical thinking and collaboration — and shows them career options in age-appropriate ways. This will be done by producing multiple forms of content, some that show real-life examples of success by having adult role models share how they turned their childhood interest into their life’s work. It will also help parents, caregivers and communities support children’s learning and growth, with a goal of putting children on a path to success in learning, work and life.
CPB and PBS will work with experts in early learning and leading children’s media producers to create new PBS KIDS multiplatform content, including “Wombats!” (w.t.), produced by GBH, in which preschoolers will learn critical thinking and collaboration skills by following the adventures of three marsupial siblings as they explore their “Treeborhood.” In “Liza Loops” (w.t.), created and produced by Dave Peth, children ages 5-6 will encounter sociable city kid Liza, an aspiring inventor, and her fuzzy blue sidekick Stu as they invent solutions to help others in their neighborhood. As part of the grant, CPB and PBS will work with additional producers and partners on the third series with a literacy curriculum, in addition to digital games and podcasts, as well as resources to support family learning at home, in virtual spaces and in the community.
Today, children face a future filled with an unprecedented amount of uncertainty. The initiative’s focus on introducing children to the mindsets, knowledge and skills required to succeed in the workforce stems from a rapidly evolving global economy. COVID-19 has also impacted the workforce landscape, making it more important than ever to equip children with skills and ways of thinking that will allow them to successfully navigate their future.
“During these challenging times, public media continues to deliver value to the American people through our consistent commitment to early learners. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt education, public media is working to ensure that the nation’s children, especially those in low-income communities, have access to learning and are not left behind,” said Pat Harrison, President and CEO for CPB. “The funding by Congress and the Department of Education will provide vital resources to public media for the creation of research-based educational content, that will be offered free of charge and commercial free, to help children prepare to succeed in work and life.”
“PBS was founded on the belief that media can be a powerful force for education and inspiration. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are committed to building on our strong legacy of high-quality educational media to meet the needs of young learners,” said Paula Kerger, President and CEO, PBS. “We are grateful for the vital support of CPB and the Department of Education, which allows us to serve millions of children across the country. Together with our member stations and producing partners, we will use every tool at our disposal to prepare the next generation for success in school and life.”
Local PBS stations will work with community partners, including schools, public libraries, museums, businesses, local Chambers of Commerce and other stakeholders, as part of a national network devoted to supporting the early learning needs of children in low-income communities. Critical national partners include the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Parents As Teachers.
The first phase of work will take place in 12 communities, including: Anchorage, Alaska (Alaska Public Media); Austin, Texas (Austin PBS); Birmingham, Alabama (Alabama Public Television); Detroit (Detroit Public TV); Las Vegas (Vegas PBS); Lexington, Kentucky (Kentucky Educational Television); Los Angeles (PBS SoCaL); Madison, Wisconsin (PBS Wisconsin); New York (WNET); Owings Mill, Maryland (Maryland Public Television); Pittsburgh (WQED); and Tallahassee, Florida (WFSU). Additional communities will be added during years 2-5 of the grant.
The Education Development Center (EDC) will lead a research effort to assess the success of the five-year initiative, with emphasis on the new content’s ability to build key skills and inspire children to explore the “world of work.” Project research will also provide new insights into the ways in which newer media and intergenerational engagement can support children’s learning. Data analytics will advance the understanding of how games can influence learning gains, and formative studies will drive informed content creation.
*Additional years of funding are contingent on Congressional appropriations.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.
PBS, with its over 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
About The Ready To Learn Initiative
The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach and research on educational effectiveness.
The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant [PR/Award No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A] provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
WMFE PRESIDENT ELECTED TO NPR BOARD OF DIRECTORS ERIKA PULLEY-HAYES FILLS THE POSITION OF MEMBER DIRECTOR
ORLANDO — Erika Pulley-Hayes, president and CEO of WMFE/WMFV in Orlando, has been elected to the NPR Board of Directors.
Pulley-Hayes joined WMFE/WMFV in January after a long tenure at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where she served as radio vice president.
“I’m excited to serve on the NPR board at this moment in time,” Pulley-Hayes said. “Journalism is essential to our democracy, and I am committed to ensuring the news and information NPR provides to our country remains strong.”
Pulley-Hayes was elected Sept. 11 to fill an unexpired term vacancy on the board due to the departure of Wonya Lucas, former CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta, according to Current. The board’s Governance Committee nominated Pulley-Hayes to a three-year term beginning in November, subject to election by the network’s membership in a ballot that opens next month.
The NPR Board of Directors sets the policies and overall direction for NPR management, monitors the performance of NPR, and provides financial oversight. NPR’s 23-member Board of Directors is comprised of 12 Member Directors who are managers of NPR Member stations and are elected to the Board by their fellow Member stations, 9 Public Directors, the NPR Foundation Chair, and the NPR President & CEO.
Erika Pulley-Hayes joined WMFE/WMFV in January 2020 as president and CEO after a long tenure at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) where she served as radio vice president. In this capacity, she provided strategic leadership to the public radio system by developing initiatives designed to drive innovation and advance public media service. She has worked to enhance local service and sustainability by identifying new business opportunities and operating models that engage audiences across platforms and increase organizational capacity. She was instrumental in the development of journalism collaborations among public media organizations in local regions. She was also responsible for developing the policies that govern CPB’s Community Service Grant program which, as public media’s largest funding source, supports over 400 organizations operating public radio stations nationwide.
Erika began her career at a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, where she worked under the general counsel and corporate secretary. In this role, she worked closely with the board of directors, negotiated corporate agreements for commercial transactions, and ensured political and regulatory compliance. Erika later managed legal operations of a small clinical research organization overseeing risk management, corporate housekeeping and commercial contracts generating approximately $40 million annually. Erika serves on the board of directors of 826 National, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students improve their expository and creative writing skills in nine cities across the United States. She is also a member of the Alliance of Women in Media. Erika holds an MBA and an MS in Nonprofit Management.
About Community Communications Inc.:
Community Communications Inc. is a locally owned, and operated, non-profit public media organization that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Ocala and surrounding counties. Listener-supported Community Communications has been serving the community since 1980 with trusted news and programming from a local, national and international perspective. Visit wmfe.org and wmfv.org for more information.
NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Get more information at npr.org/about and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
# # #
Orange County Public Schools is partnering with the University of Central Florida to establish a strategic alliance for educational programming to air on WUCF TV. This collaboration will directly benefit students beginning June 4, 2020. Through this partnership the district can reach school-aged children with media content tied to their educational standards. It will be available to view on the local PBS station WUCF 24.5.
The enrichment opportunities will be delivered through a series of instructional videos produced by Orange County teachers along with supplemental content provided by WUCF. The first series of videos will be geared toward children in kindergarten through second grade. The videos will complement the workbook materials that all OCPS students in K-2 are receiving for summer enrichment.
“We are excited about this opportunity to provide meaningful instruction to students over the summer and throughout the year. Utilizing our talented teachers to present the standards-aligned content guarantees the rigor required for student mastery and it offers parents a valuable resource to assist with their child’s learning,” Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said.
The programming content will consist of a wide variety of educational materials including, but not limited to, at-home learning instruction, school and district events, and superintendent and district leadership news conferences.
“WUCF is proud to partner with Orange County Public Schools to support families as an extension of the classroom,” said Dr. Phil Hoffman, WUCF executive director. “Schools, teachers and students are facing unique challenges, and WUCF is happy to help play a critical role in bringing a learning environment into the homes of our Central Florida families.”
Conversion will expand local journalism and bring 13 new shows to Northeast Florida airwaves; station will be known as WJCT News 89.9
Jacksonville, Fla. – June 4, 2020 – WJCT today announced it will convert 89.9 FM, its flagship radio station, to an all news/talk format, and the station will be identified as WJCT News 89.9 effective July 13, 2020.
This conversion will expand WJCT’s local journalism with additional midday newscasts of local reporting by the organization’s news team. Thirteen new national programs from a range of producers will also be added to the station’s weekly schedule.
This announcement follows a period of sustained audience growth across all of WJCT News’ platforms, including on 89.9 FM, online at wjct.org and on the WJCT app. WJCT News covers stories throughout Northeast Florida; shares breaking news from partner news outlets such as The Florida Times-Union, News4Jax and the Jacksonville Daily Record; and produces original digital media such as the magazine ADAPT and the Odd Ball and VOIDCAST podcasts.
The average number of weekly listeners consuming news has continued to grow recently, the continuation of a long-term trend. WJCT anticipates further growth across its platforms, as consumers seek trustworthy coverage of topics of local and national importance like the coronavirus, hurricane season and the 2020 election season.
“The growing need for sources of news and information that are deeply thoughtful, unfailing in the pursuit of truth and universally available has never been clearer than it is now,” said David McGowan, President & CEO of WJCT. “The Jacksonville area in Northeast Florida, a region with an ever-more diverse citizenry, requires a healthy range of news sources to inform critical decisions about our shared future.”
New programs coming to 89.9 FM starting July 13 include the following; to view the updated schedule, visit wjct.org/radiopreview:
- PBS NewsHour from PBS, every Monday through Friday at 9 p.m.
- Think from KERA in Texas, every Monday through Friday at 10 p.m.
- 1A Plus from WAMU in Washington and NPR, every Monday through Friday at midnight
- The Pulse from WHYY in Philadelphia, Fridays at 2 a.m., and Sundays at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
- Innovation Hub from PRX and WGBH in Boston, Saturdays at 4 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Science Friday Weekend from WNYC in New York, Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m.
- Fresh Air Weekend from NPR, Saturdays at 7 p.m.
- New Yorker Radio Hour from The New Yorker and WNYC in New York, Saturdays at 8 p.m., midnight and 3 a.m., and Sundays at 10 a.m.
- PRX’s Remix Select from PRX, Saturdays at 9 p.m.
- Podcast Playlist from CBC in Canada, Saturdays at 10 p.m.
- It’s Been a Minute from NPR, Saturdays at noon and 1 a.m., and Sundays at 9 p.m.
- With Good Reason from Virginia Humanities in Virginia, Sundays at 11:30 p.m.
- Climate One from PRX, Sundays at midnight
Music programs such as Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride and Live from Herewith Chris Thile will air Sunday nights at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, on Electro Lounge Radio on 89.9 HD4: a new HD radio station launched by WJCT in April 2020 as part of the Jacksonville Music Experience (JME). Additional elements of the Jacksonville Music Experience include Classical 24® from American Public Media on 89.9 HD2; Anthology, a hand-crafted selection of music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s on 89.9 HD3; Music Thursdays on WJCT-TV; Studio 5 Sessions at wjct.org; the VOIDCAST podcast, produced in partnership with Void Magazine; and live performances at the WJCT Soundstage. Details about the Jacksonville Music Experience are available at wjct.org/jaxmusic.
WJCT is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at wjct.org. Like WJCT on Facebook and follow WJCT on Twitter and Instagram.
“The State We’re In” premieres at noon Tuesday, April 14, on the WMFE and WUSF Facebook pages and will offer news and information about the COVID-19 public health crisis and its impacts on Florida and our communities. WMFE News Director Matthew Peddie and WUSF Reporter/host Bradley George will co-host, and each episode will feature a conversation with an expert — from health care and business to education and science — and allow viewers the chance to ask questions and share their experiences.
WMFE and WUSF are already collaborating on I-4 Votes, one of eight public media networks participating in “America Amplified: Election 2020,” an initiative that aims to strengthen collaboration within public media, build trust in local journalism and deepen understanding of America’s needs and aspirations. It’s led by public radio station KCUR 89.3 in Kansas City and supported by a $1.9 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The America Amplified team is lending support to get the Facebook Live show up and running. Its leaders are encouraging partner stations to adapt their journalism to the global pandemic, and find ways to connect our communities at a time when people are needing to separate physically. “The State We’re In” will launch as a way for Floridians to talk with one another about coronavirus, but it eventually will evolve into a place for discussions about other issues, including the 2020 presidential election.
“COVID-19 has all of our attention, and we’re proud to extend our stations’ essential coverage to the Facebook Live platform, which will allow anyone to directly and easily join the conversation in real time,” WMFE President and CEO Erika Pulley-Hayes said. “We want to make sure that everyone has access to reliable and local information, as well as an opportunity to voice their concerns so that we can address them.”
“The State We’re In” will be audience-centric. The show will focus on what the citizens need and want to know about the virus to make better, informed decisions in their own lives.
“Our stations are known for providing accurate and timely information that listeners can rely on,” WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky said. “The coronavirus has upended the daily lives of everyone around the world, and we are making access to accurate information as easy as possible for everyone.”
About WUSF Public Media:
WUSF Public Media is a comprehensive media organization that provides media services to the community and businesses through public broadcasting and multi-media production services. Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF Public Media has been serving the public interest through programming, educational outreach and community partnerships for more than 50 years. Visit wusfnews.org for more information.
Community Communications Inc., DBA WMFE, is a non-profit, member-supported, community-based public broadcasting company that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Leesburg and The Golden Triangle. Part of the community since 1980, Community Communications focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. Visit wmfe.org and wmfv.org for more information.
TALLAHASSEE, FL. March 19, 2020 – As many schools and districts across Florida cancel classes beyond spring breaks to lessen the spread of COVID-19, Florida PBS stations are banding together to support at-home learning for students by delivering a new weekday television schedule of educational programs.
These programs are aligned to state standards, and are free and accessible from home. Most of the stations across the state will begin broadcasting these programs Monday, March 23rd at 6 a.m.
“Florida’s public television stations have been dedicated to ensuring the health, welfare and education of our youngest viewers for decades and have a long-standing partnership with the state of Florida”, said Randy Wright, Executive Director of WUFT-TV/FM in Gainesville-Ocala and chair of Florida Public Media.
“We can continue to play a critical role in providing trusted, aligned educational resources for students, parents, teachers and caregivers during these challenging times. This unique and special educational programming and PBS Learning Media are extraordinary tools that are easy to access from home and they’re made available as a free service from Florida’s public media.”
At-Home Learning Stations
WEDU – Tampa/St. Petersburg
WFSU – Tallahassee/Panama City
WGCU – Ft. Myers/Naples
WJCT – Jacksonville
WLRN – Miami
WPBT – Miami
WSRE – Pensacola
WUCF – Orlando
WUFT – Gainesville/Ocala
WXEL – Boynton Beach
Stations are dedicating a daytime weekday schedule on their main or other channel. The new 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. schedule includes specific blocks of time for Pre-K through 12th grade levels and covers subjects, including English language arts, social studies, science and math.
“Many students in our area do not have the needed computers, printers or even internet to make online learning possible to the extent needed to make an at-home learning environment, but they do have a television,” said Tasha Weinstein, education and engagement manager at WFSU Public Media in Tallahassee.
In the weeks to come, Florida stations will be sharing local content and other resources that can specifically support the needs of teachers and students.
Florida Public Media is the association of public radio and public TV stations throughout Florida.
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen – and Webby Award-winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video app is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as YouTube, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.
For additional information:
Florida Public Media
WASHINGTON – February 6, 2020 – America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) today announced the election of its new board leaders and members.
Molly Phillips, Executive Director and General Manager of Iowa PBS, has been elected Chair; Jefferi K. Lee, General Manager of WHUT in Washington, D.C. has been elected as Professional Vice Chair; and Carol Kellermann, Lay Trustee, Thirteen/WNET in New York, has been re-elected as Lay Vice Chair. The newly-elected officers will begin their terms on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
The newly-elected trustees are: DeAnne Hamilton, Executive Director and General Manager of KBTC Public Television in Tacoma, Washington; Laura Hunter, Station Manager and COO of Utah Education Network/KUEN in Salt Lake City, Utah; Dax Schieffer, Board Chair of Friends of MontanaPBS in Bozeman, Montana; and Dolores Sukhdeo, President and CEO of South Florida PBS in Miami, Florida. Newly-elected as an at-large trustee to the APTS board is Brigadier General (Retired) Leo A. Brooks, Jr., Vice President, Enterprise Subsidiary Integration, Government Operations, for The Boeing Company in Washington, D.C. The newly-elected trustees will begin their terms on Monday, February 24, 2020.
Re-elected to the APTS Board of Trustees are Kathy Rae, Board Member of KPBS in San Diego, California, and Andrew Russell, President and CEO of PBS SoCal KCET in Los Angeles, California.
About Dolores Sukhdeo
Dolores Sukhdeo serves as the President and CEO of South Florida PBS, the merged organization that brings together WPBT2 and WXEL to represent the 7th largest TV market in the United States. In 1998, Sukhdeo joined WPBT2 as Vice President for Facilities Services where she was responsible for the for-profit activities. She was promoted to Station Manager in 2002 and to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2003.
Sukhdeo began her television career in 1990 at the international newsgathering division of Disney/ABC News Inc. – Worldwide Television News in New York, NY, where she worked her way through the ranks from Sales Assistant to Regional Executive for the USA & Latin America. During her tenure at Worldwide Television News, Sukhdeo managed large scale news events including the Oklahoma City bombing, Olympics coverage, presidential elections and the United Nations 50th Anniversary.
Sukhdeo earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish Literature from Columbia University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Miami.
Sukhdeo is the Immediate Past Chair for Florida Public Media, a statewide consortium of Florida public television and radio stations. She is Past President of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Florida, and Past Chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) Nonprofit Business Committee and the GMCC Creative Industries Committee.