News

PBS group disbands

U.S. public channels WGBH (Boston), WETA (Washington, D.C.) and Thirteen/WNET (New York) have disbanded the PBS Sponsorship Group, a consortium formed with PBS in 1997 to collectively raise money for each member's projects. Now, the channels will each fend for themselves and possibly compete with one another.
July 1, 2003

U.S. public channels WGBH (Boston), WETA (Washington, D.C.) and Thirteen/WNET (New York) have disbanded the PBS Sponsorship Group, a consortium formed with PBS in 1997 to collectively raise money for each member’s projects. Now, the channels will each fend for themselves and possibly compete with one another.

Notes Lance Ozier, WGBH’s VP of national program marketing, ‘The experience we had with the previous group suggests that the people closest to the product are the ones who have more information, and can advocate more strongly for it.’ He continues: ‘These corporate sponsorships are being sold to help us finish the production budgets…so each partner, including PBS in its own acquisitions, has money at risk. It just seemed that the individual organizations would be better served covering their own risks.’

WGBH has already set up its own marketing unit, the Sponsorship Group for Public Television, which will have such well-known strands as ‘Frontline’ and ‘Nova’ in its stable. Ozier says his group will also likely take on up to five outside projects, either from other public stations or indie prodcos.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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