PBS President Paula Kerger

TonyT

DTVUSA Member
#1
Can someone tell me why the PBS president is making comments about commercial networks and their programming?

PASADENA, CALIF. -- PBS President Paula Kerger opened her Q&A at Winter TV Press Tour 2010 by blasting commercial broadcasters for blowing their responsibilities under the 1990 Children's Television Act.
I found the story here: washingtonpost.com

and the Act itself as explained by The Washington Post,

That act requires broadcasters to provide a minimal amount of educational and informational programming.
"Independent research shows how much of the educational children's programming on commercial TV fails to meet even the basic requirements," Kerger said. "Our kids deserve better."
So my thoughts on this are, broadcasters show programming based on what viewers want to watch. So, if there's demand for youth entertainment, then they will show it. It's just odd to me that PBS is claiming that other networks are failing to meet the basic requirements, yet from some of the budget issues I've read about PBS itself, they might want to focus on better quality programming than pointing the finger elsewhere.

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I think it's also interesting that PBS just signed a deal with Nielsen to receive data about daily audience and demographic information.

Why?

PBS has subscribed to Nielsen for extensive daily audience and demographic information not because it wants to use the information to make programming decisions, Kerger told TV critics.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#2
So my thoughts on this are, broadcasters show programming based on what viewers want to watch. So, if there's demand for youth entertainment, then they will show it.
So you object to the regulation on the broadcasters that requires them to provide some educational programming for children. It's an interesting argument, given that so many people feel that broadcasters should really be subject to more requirements than the very small requirement you're advocating be removed. I suppose that if people are trying to add requirements while other people are trying to remove requirements, then perhaps we've reached a fair balance, the way the requirements are now.

Which leaves us with Kerger's claim: That the commercial broadcasters aren't fulfilling their obligations under the law. I'm not sure if you want to really discuss that, since it seems the entirety of what you want to discuss is just the requirement itself.

It's just odd to me that PBS is claiming that other networks are failing to meet the basic requirements, yet from some of the budget issues I've read about PBS itself, they might want to focus on better quality programming than pointing the finger elsewhere.
That's ridiculous. PBS provides far more quality educational programming for children than any commercial channel provides.

I think it's also interesting that PBS just signed a deal with Nielsen to receive data about daily audience and demographic information. Why?
As you may know, PBS gets a lot of its operating budget from donation from "Viewers Like You", and so Nielsen data may help PBS better understand what "Viewers Like You" prefer.
 
#3
I have actually been wondering about this as well, and how most of the Educational television programs out there are nearly exclusive to PBS. While Educational and Kids programming have long been one of the biggest staples on PBS, there has been less competition provided by other channels than ever. Paula Kreger raised a very good point, considering I have wondered about it myself sometimes.
 

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