News releases generated by FPBS and/or its partner stations
NEW LEADER COMES TO CENTRAL FLORIDA FROM CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING, WHERE SHE SERVED AS VP OF RADIO
ORLANDO – The Board of Trustees of 90.7 WMFE | 89.5 WMFV announced today the appointment of Erika Pulley-Hayes as President and CEO.
Pulley-Hayes succeeds LaFontaine E. Oliver, who led the station since 2013, before returning to Baltimore in July to lead NPR member station WYPR.
Pulley-Hayes is currently vice president of Radio at the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the nonprofit steward of the federal government’s investment in public media, which supports the operations of over 1,500 locally owned public TV and radio stations. She will assume her new role on Jan. 13.
“WMFE|WMFV provides an important service to Central Florida, and this is an incredible opportunity to build upon the quality journalism and programming this organization delivers to the community,” Pulley-Hayes said. “I am very excited to join this team and continue working to enhance the local service that engages audiences across platforms.”
In her role at the CPB, Pulley-Hayes has provided strategic leadership to the public radio system by developing initiatives that sustain and advance public media service. She has driven innovation in a legacy industry through programs that enable public media organizations to respond to disruption and prepare for the future. She has extended public media to new audiences across platforms by providing podcasting expertise to local stations and developing a new format for multicultural millennials.
“We are excited to welcome Erika Pulley-Hayes to Central Florida,” WMFE|WMFV Board Chair Anne E. Kelley said. “She is uniquely positioned to continue her record of driving innovation, now on the local level, and to further our stations’ mission to engage new communities, both on our terrestrial airwaves as well as our growing number of digital platforms.”
More about Pulley-Hayes
Pulley-Hayes has worked at CPB since 2005 and has been responsible for managing daily operations, financial administration, grant programs, funding decisions and impact evaluation. She has worked to enhance local service and sustainability by identifying new business opportunities and operating models that increase organizational capacity.
She began her career as a legal assistant at a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company. She later managed legal operations of a small clinical research organization in Virginia.
Pulley-Hayes holds an MBA and an MS in nonprofit management from the University of Maryland University College. She also holds a BA from William Paterson University in her home state of New Jersey. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga, attending live events and traveling. She has two adult sons.
About Community Communications Inc.:
Community Communications Inc. 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.
Best Buddies, peers, public media staff work together on digital project
(FORT MYERS, FLORIDA) – WGCU Public Media teamed up with Best Buddies of Southwest Florida the first weekend in November for a digital storytelling workshop that launched WGCU’s Move to Include initiative, which is ongoing and anticipates the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July 2020.
The ADA is the civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
Move to Include is a pilot project led by public media station WXXI in Rochester, N.Y. It began in 2014, and was made possible with the support of the Golisano Foundation and Tom Golisano – who also donated $20 million to build Southwest Florida’s Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Funded by a $645,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, this project includes multimedia elements developed by WXXI and the Golisano Foundation that combine content production, curation and engagement to encourage dialogue about disability issues.
“People with disabilities make up our single largest minority in this country,” explains WXXI President & CEO Norm Silverstein. “Now we’re proud to pilot Move to Include in five additional communities, using public media’s many platforms to promote equity and inclusion. Through Move to Include, we hope to build more inclusive communities by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life.”
“Public media belongs to everyone, and Move to Include is an important part of our mission to ensure inclusion for people with disabilities,” said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “CPB is proud to support this effort to replicate through locally owned and operated public media stations, a community-based model that truly works.”
Move to Include encompasses PBS KIDS programs, prime-time curated TV specials, news and arts features, radio talk shows, educational segments, social media and online content, and screenings. A collection of 50 video segments on inclusion is distributed nationally through PBS LearningMedia, the go-to destination for classroom-ready, digital resources including videos, games, audio, photos and lesson plans.
Participating stations in Move to Include, including WGCU, are planning additional events through next summer and beyond that emphasize ability, rather than disability.
The storytelling workshop at WGCU, held Friday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 3 in the Myra Janco Daniels Public Media Center on the FGCU campus, turned young people into filmmakers and public media staff into mentors.
“Buddies” with intellectual and developmental disabilities were paired with school-age “Peer Buddies” for the workshop. Five teams of two each created a short video on a topic of their choice, doing the interviewing, filming and editing themselves with the help of a member of the WGCU production crew. They did all of their work on kits consisting of an iPad, a tripod and bracket, headphones and two lavalier microphones.
The teenagers got acquainted Friday evening and learned some basics of film production from Betsy Newman, a documentary filmmaker from South Carolina who has conducted similar workshops for 25 years. They determined the topics of their videos and talked about interview questions.
The young filmmakers came back Saturday and got down to work, shooting B-roll, recording interviews and finally, editing videos.
Late Sunday afternoon, the teams finished editing and screened their works for friends, family and mentors over dinner at the station.
Savannah Louderback, a senior in business management at FGCU, worked with the buddy she has known for two years, Devin Cannon. For their video, Cannon talked about the second annual Friendship Ball that Best Buddies held recently and at which he was crowned king. About his film, he said, “It was so awesome!”
The point of the workshop, said Newman, was to “give kids an opportunity to express themselves, to find their voices, to learn about the experiences of others through the interview process.”
WGCU is one of the five PBS stations to participate in the national pilot project, which officially will kick off in July 2020.
“We are ecstatic over the success of WGCU’s first-ever Move to Include digital storytelling workshop,” said Amy Shumaker, Associate General Manager for Content, who worked on similar programs with Newman in South Carolina. “It is our mission in public media to bring diverse and inclusive voices to all of our broadcast platforms. By partnering with Best Buddies, we had a group of talented young people with differing abilities eager to learn the fundamentals of visual storytelling from our staff.”
Participating buddies were Cannon, Thomas Browning, Gianna Gaziano-Whalen, Miranda Huber and Will Thibado; peer buddies included Louderback, Rayne Roe and Celine Lobocchiaro, with some help from a couple of the teens’ fathers.
Best Buddies of Southwest Florida Executive Director Melanie Musick and Jennifer Mackler from Ida Baker High School were on hand to help. Mackler has worked with most of the students in the Best Buddies program.
“It can be tough for our students with physical or intellectual disabilities to connect with peers their age, but when we pair them with a buddy, it helps them to develop those skills in a safe way,” Mackler said.
About WGCU Public Media
WGCU is Southwest Florida’s source for PBS and NPR programming. As a member-supported service of Florida Gulf Coast University, WGCU’s mission is to provide 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 and 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 Facebook at wgcupublicmedia.
About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
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 owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, and subscribe for other updates.
The association of public broadcasters elected new officers during the group’s annual board meeting in July.
Elected to office were:
Chair: Randy Wright, Executive Director WUFT-FM/TV (Gainesville/Ocala)
Vice-Chair: Bob Culkeen, General Manager, WSRE-TV (Pensacola)
Treasurer: David Mullins, General Manager, WFSU -TV/FM (Tallahassee)
Secretary: Amy Shumaker, Associate GM – Content, WGCU-FM/TV (Ft. Myers/Naples)
At-Large: Phil Hoffman, Executive Director & Assistant VP, WUCF-TV (Orlando)
Immediate Past Chair: Dolores Sukhdeo (President & CEO, South Florida PBS, Miami)
Florida Public Media (FPM) is the organization of 24 public radio and public television stations in the state. The stations broadcast programming by NPR and PBS, and a wide range of news, public affairs, and music producers. TV members provide the main distribution of The Florida Channel, and radio members serve as the backbone of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN).
FPM is the state’s leader in educational programming and emergency communications.
“Public media in Florida touches millions of lives each day and I couldn’t be more proud to work with my colleagues across the state to help ensure our work in education, news and information, public safety and service to the community and state remains on a track of growth and even greater impact in the future,” new chair Randy Wright said.
“Projects like FPREN highlight the unique power of public media during the most challenging of times.”
“Public stations across the state are there for Floridians when they need it most. While we don’t enjoy hurricanes, tropical storms and other emergencies public media sets the standard for community service and being a voice of calm and reason that people can count on during these events. I’m very proud of what public media in Florida is doing for our state related to public safety and emergency messaging.”
Located on the University of Florida campus, FPREN has been widely recognized in the state and on the national level for its leadership in public safety communications.
In March 2019, it won the prestigious Community Lifeline Award presented by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In May 2018, FPREN received the Public Information Award at the 32nd Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference® Awards.
ORLANDO, June 1, 2018 – WUCF TV begins a new initiative today, Meet The Helpers, a multiplatform project aimed at teaching children about important community helpers so they are better prepared in emergency situations.
Working with Judith Levin, a University of Central Florida professor and expert in early childhood development and education, WUCF developed a series of short videos to introduce common “helpers” in the community. The project includes videos featuring:
- an emergency room doctor
- a meteorologist
- a teacher
- a police officer
- a firefighter
- a paramedic
- and a 911 operator
Helpers from Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, WKMG News 6, University of Central Florida College of Education and Human Performance, Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Orange County Fire Rescue contributed to make the series.
These videos will air on WUCF during PBS KIDS programming and on WUCF PBS KIDS 24/7 channel. Videos are also available online at meetthehelpers.org.
“This project began as a way to help the Central Florida community talk about emergency preparedness with our youngest citizens after the Pulse nightclub shooting,” said Phil Hoffman, WUCF executive director. “Drawing on inspiration from TV’s Fred Rogers, we looked to the helpers and soon realized a void in this type of content for children. Now we’re expanding this project to share with PBS stations nationwide. Meet the Helpers shows the power of public media in strengthening the safety of all our communities.”
You can learn more about Meet the Helpers and check out the videos and resources by visiting meetthehelpers.org.
About WUCF TV
WUCF TV, Central Florida PBS is the sole-service PBS member station whose mission is to encourage curiosity and learning through compelling content and community engagement. The station serves nearly 4 million Central Floridians across nine counties and is community-supported public broadcasting from the University of Central Florida. Learn more at http://wucftv.org.
Jennifer Cook, WUCF, 407-823-2947, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part television and online series designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped us. The series will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books. Audiences are encouraged to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles. The Great American Read premieres Tuesday, May 22 at 8/7c on PBS stations with a launch special, kicking off a summer of reading and voting.
Then in the fall, starting Sept. 11th, seven new episodes of the series will air as the quest to find America’s most beloved book moves into high gear. Episodes from the series will feature appearances by celebrities, athletes, experts, authors, and everyday Americans advocating for their favorite book. The finale will air on Oct. 23rd. FHC and the Florida Library Association (FLA) are proud to co-sponsor the Florida public broadcast of this engaging series. To learn more about The Great American Read click here.
Now in its 5th Year, Annual Program Recognizes Top PreK-12 Educators Using Digital Technology and Tools in the Classroom
Arlington, VA, December 12, 2016 – Beginning today, educators from across the country—classroom changemakers who excel at using technology and digital media to spark excitement and drive learning in their classrooms—are encouraged to enter the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Program.
The call for entries officially opens today and will remain open through midnight, February 13, 2017. Educators are asked to submit a 60- to180-second “mini-presentation” video to show how they’re using resources from PBS LearningMedia, the free media-on-demand service for classrooms from PBS and the WGBH Educational Foundation, along with digital technology and tools in their classroom to enhance their teaching and inspire of love of learning in their students. Entrants will also be asked to complete a profile and answer a short essay question. The PBS Digital Innovators online application is available at: www.pbs.org/education/digitalinnovators.
“Over the past five years, PBS Digital Innovators have served not only as role models for using digital content and instructional resources in the classroom, but also as true change makers in their classrooms and communities,” said Lesli Rotenberg, SVP and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Education is at the core of PBS’ mission, both at the national and local level. Through our partnership with PBS stations, based in every community, this unique program allows us to recognize these leaders whose transformative work is inspiring a generation of lifelong learners.”
A panel of esteemed judges will seek to select one educator from each state throughout the U.S, its territories and the District of Columbia as PBS Digital Innovators. The Digital Innovators will receive a three-day all-expense paid trip to San Antonio, Texas, June 24-26, to participate in the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Summit and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. Attendance at these conferences will provide the Digital Innovators the opportunity to meet with, and listen to, renowned speakers, experts and educators; to discuss strategies for delivering best practices in digital education that they can immediately apply to the classroom and across their schools; and an opportunity to network with educators from across the country.
All PBS Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing professional development opportunities, including unique virtual trainings focused on digital best practices, access to exclusive resources from PBS LearningMedia Custom, invitations to special events, a free PBS TeacherLine professional development course, networking opportunities, a choice of a digital gift to use in their classroom and more. PBS Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing support from, and opportunities to work with, their local PBS member stations.
PBS continues to deepen relationships with educators across the country, so all educators who meet the entry requirements, follow the guidelines and submit their application to the Digital Innovators Program will automatically become a member of a robust professional learning community with ongoing professional development opportunities and access to free webinars from PBS LearningMedia.
The 2017 PBS Digital Innovators will be announced on March 15, 2017. For more information on PBS LearningMedia, visit www.floridapbslearningmedia.org.
Health News Florida, a statewide multimedia and broadcast collaboration between WUSF Public Media, WMFE 90.7, and WLRN Public Radio and Television, has been honored with the 2016 national Edward R. Murrow award for “Best Small Online News Organization Website.”
The national Murrow award is considered one of the most prestigious honors in the broadcast and multi-media industry. It is presented by the Radio and Television Digital News Association, which has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism since 1971. The awards are named after legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, who is widely recognized as one of broadcast journalism’s seminal figures.
“The Health News Florida project demonstrates an essential service that WUSF provides on perhaps the most vital topic possible – health,” said WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky. “My congratulations to the team across the state of Florida for their excellence in reporting.”
This year’s award recognizes Health News Florida for original reporting projects such as HIV in Florida, a series looking at poor Floridians caught in the Medicaid Gap, and ongoing coverage of statewide health care policies. This award follows other recent recognitions for Health News Florida, including regional Murrow awards for the site and in the news documentary division; and three awards from the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Association.
“WMFE is very proud to partner with WUSF and WLRN,” said WMFE President and General Manager, LaFontaine Oliver. “The Health News Florida project has multiplied the reporting power of our individual stations resulting in an incredible health news resource and service to all of Florida.”
Health journalist Carol Gentry created Health News Florida 10 years ago as an independent health news organization, at a time when the number of health journalists in the state was dwindling. It was acquired by WUSF in 2012 and expanded to the collaboration with partner public broadcasters WLRN and WMFE in 2014 as a result of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
“This is a remarkable accomplishment and reinforces not just WLRN as a news leader in South Florida, but it also reflects the tremendous work from our fellow public media stations across the state of Florida, ” said John LaBonia, General Manager of WLRN. “I am very proud of this news partnership and congratulate the entire team for this well-deserved recognition and their collaboration in making Florida Health News such a valuable public service.”
Florida public radio and television stations have a strong history of collaboration on projects the benefit the citizens of Florida. Florida public radio stations joined forces with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to form the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) in 2014, which covers 99 percent of the state and is locally staffed and equipped to stay on the air to deliver important information to local audiences before, during and after an emergency. Florida public television stations work together across the state to provide Florida teachers, parents, students, and mentors with the Florida PBS LearningMedia, a free and innovative digital library developed to support curriculum-based teaching and learning from pre-K through college. The success of these initiatives, along with the award-winning Health News Florida, demonstrates the deep commitment of Florida public television and radio stations have to serving the state and its citizens.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida residents and visitors have a new resource to help them prepare for destructive storms and other emergencies. The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) today launched Florida Storms , a free, mobile weather application that offers a simple way to stay informed of potential weather and other hazards, backed by real-time credible information from the nearest Florida public radio station.
Using a combination of state of the art weather tracking and forecasting technology and the expertise of staff meteorologists at WUFT-FM, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications public radio station and host to the FPREN StormCenter, Florida Storms helps deftly navigate weather-related emergencies, from preparedness checklists to storm updates to evacuation routes.
“Millions of people visit this state every year, and millions more have moved here since a hurricane last struck our shores ten years ago,” said Jeff Huffman, Florida Public Radio Meteorologist at UF. “Think about this: Twitter, YouTube, and even the iPhone weren’t around when Wilma made landfall back in 2005. To say there will be a lot of Floridians experiencing a potential disaster for the first time on social media or the smartphone is an understatement. We hope Florida Storms will help them cut through the noise and come to rely on a service that’s been proven for decades to be there in time of need, which is the backbone of public radio.”
FPREN communicates emergency information statewide through a seamless system of free over-the-air FM radio stations. The new mobile app extends the reach of the Florida station network with reliable and immediate accessibility on weather developments.
“The launch of the Florida Storms app is the natural next step into mobile distribution of the critical lifesaving information FPREN provides,” said Randy Wright, executive director of WUFT-FM and the Division of Multimedia Properties at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. “The features of the app are groundbreaking and it’s very user-friendly. Combine that with it being available at no charge equals what we believe will be an essential mobile tool for Floridians and visitors to our state.”
The iOS app, now available free in the Apple App Store, was developed in collaboration with mobile engagement provider Mobiquity. An Android version will be ready early this fall.
Among the features of the new app are:
- Weather map: Clean and fast national radar with 1-hour past loop and future radar up to 48 hours, including current temperatures, wind speeds and lightning data
- Radio streaming: Live stream of nearest FPREN partner station, with ability to customize based on desired location
- News feed: Multiple feeds of real-time watch and warning information from various sources, with simultaneous advisory text and radar view
- Emergency preparedness: Information for a weather disaster, including what to do before, during and after a storm
- Push notifications: Customizable, from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.
The app can be downloaded here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/florida-storms/id1011397030?mt=8
Florida public radio stations joined forces with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to form FPREN in 2014. The FPREN Storm Center is operated by WUFT-FM at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications providing local 24/7 weather, data and storm updates to all stations in the network.
FPREN stations collectively cover 99 percent of the state and are locally staffed and equipped to stay on the air even during times of massive power outages in order to deliver important information to local audiences before, during and after an emergency. In the event of a weather incident, the FPREN stations will continue to provide recovery information for as long as necessary. Working in partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and local Emergency Operations Centers, listeners and users of the mobile app can be assured of having access to the most up to date information.
FPBS is a non-profit association of public radio and public television stations in the state of Florida. As the largest broadcasting network in the state, we reach more than 99 percent of Florida’s population through traditional broadcast, online tools and community engagement. FPBS stations are a state partner in education, emergency management and public affairs. Through our collaborative efforts, we identify and implement regional and statewide projects that enhance and sustain community initiatives that serve the citizens of Florida. For more information, visit the FPBS website at www.fpbs.org.
Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator, sent a letter of thanks to the UF College of Journalism (WUFT), praising the team for their assistance in the public information efforts in advance of Hurricane Arthur. Read the full letter here.
Download a PDF of the letter here: FEMA Craig Fugate-Media Properties Letter 2014