PBS to change schedule by fall

PBS' Pilot Schedule Project has numbers up and demographics down.
March 7, 2001

Five months into PBS’ Pilot Schedule Project, which has seven local pubcasters test-driving changes to the program schedule, some interesting results have surfaced.

‘For the weeks we’ve seen so far, the majority of the [programs] have been up in terms of audience,’ says John Wilson, senior VP of programming at PBS. ‘Something that’s even more encouraging is the fact that, simply by rearranging the shows in terms of how they play and what they’re scheduled with and against, we’ve seen an improvement in some of the demographics – and that’s without adding any new content.’ PBS’ has traditionally attracted a more mature audience, but changes to the schedule have enticed younger viewers to tune in.

PBS is still awaiting flow studies that reveal data on time spent viewing, but the experiment is generally viewed as a success. A new national schedule will be rolled out in Fall 2001.

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.