The perfect local television station in the Internet era?

The perfect local television station in the Internet era?

I have been watching the public dance about KCET and PBS squaring off about tithing rates for programming.  This tension challenges some of KCET’s biggest assets: goodwill and cross-promoted programming brands.  KCET’s potential future as an independent station changes everything: cost structure, programming, audience, donor support, etc.  This transition also can allow it, however, to start fresh.

If you were going to start anew with a local television station in this current digital era, what would you build?

  • Real online/offline community engagement?
  • Partnerships with local colleges for a marvelous science show?
  • Partnerships with local arts organizations to cover Los Angeles arts, including in-depth bios and community engagements?
  • Partnerships with local newspapers for marvelous public affairs shows?
  • Engaging with the donor community more actively participate with the brand?
  • Finding the best of other cities’ local content?
  • Picking up good next-level down kids’ branded content?
  • Breaking away from the over 65 and under 5 crowd and program for another audience?

What is the face of the new brand?  How would you quickly have to change your organization’s strengths?  How do you build new local brands and personalities?  How do you syndicate this production, or do you and to whom?

If you aren’t Sesame Street, McNeil Lehrer News Hour, Frontline, what are you?

Their website’s “Ask Al” discussion with the CEO ( is filled with responses that are very negative with a few hurrays that someone finally might program for the real Southern California community.  Perhaps the opportunity here is to break KCET away from this narrow set of expectations and very narrow demographic to build the next generation public television station for the local community?

The challenge is . . . what will that be?  And how will the station make the short- and long- term organizational changes to run it, market it, and thrive?

A half hour interview turned into…4 sentences in 3 markets? :)

I heard from a few past clients and students recently. The message mostly was “hey, I saw you on my 11 o’clock news! I never watch it, but happened to still have the TV on and there you were!”

Yes, that was me.

I did a half-hour interview in January that got inserted into newscasts in a few markets in February. Interesting both on what gets kept from a half hour (generally 1-2 sentences) and how viewable these things now are from outside the market.

Here we have one that is embeddable and two that are linkable:

Brian Rodriguez, 27 News, Madison, WI, WKOW-TV:

Link only from CBS Affiliate in Boston: WBZ-TV

KING-TV — not embeddable either — ad stuck in the front:

Local edits and local voiceovers were added.

Thoughts? I had talked for quite a while on the areas that interest me, which includes communicating between family members, thinking about your own brand, etc. I was sound-bited to what you hear and see in these links.

Twitter Twice in Today’s Times (say that 3 times fast) and Yelp Once

I’m always fascinated at the interplay between traditional and digital media. The traditional gives memes and other bursts of energy a boost into the broader knowledge base. Twitter got two such boosts today:

JobAngels — a Tweet and re-Tweet vehicle to help people find jobs, with 300 or so jobs circulated, caught the attention with an article.
Kogi BBQ — a more interesting mix of viral and live is the Kogi taco truck, which is met by 500 people as it is Twittercast where it is going. Also fascinating that the people running the truck call a sister in New York who Tweets from there (not from Twitterberry or iPhone tweeting, etc.), a low-tech/high-tech mix. The Times also added video to this story online.

The first seems like a promotional spin as a human interest story. The latter seems like an interesting mash-up of fan subculture and foodie-ism with tech innovation. It also relates to the pay-for-play contentions on the Yelp article, asserting that Yelp may be shaking down restaurants to get foggy sponsorships.

So what is the LA Times saying about its competition with all of these? As these are about its competition, the instant news options that are pushing the LA Times out of bed.