Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: May 24, 2010

WOSU joined hundreds of other station representatives at the annual PBS Conference in Austin last week.  The mood was decidedly upbeat, despite the consistent economic issues facing both PBS and its 180 or so member stations.  Some of the optimism may come from the newest ratings info that PBS revealed — the 5% increase in prime time viewership in the past year to 118 million folks watching weekly — the jump in PBS Kids viewership by 19% and Masterpiece Theatre by 31% — and the jump in traffic to the www.pbs.org website.  paulakerger

On the heels of PBS stations going dark in Michigan and Texas, there is still fear that other stations will fall off the edge.  Yet, PBS is working hard to be where the audience is increasingly going  — online and mobile.  You’ll see some new developments in those areas that strategically tie the national network of PBS with local stations like WOSU.

We’re impressed with the leadership Paula Kerger (picture at right)  and her leadership team continue to provide and hope we can all turn the corner soon.  By the way, one of the sessions had all of the CEOs from NPR, PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and APTS (the organization that advocated for PBS in D.C.) and wouldn’t you know that all of them were women! As one person said, perhaps that’s why all four organizations are getting along so well these days.