News

PBS to use ratings targets

Struggling through a funding drought that has seen underwriting fall by 26% in the last two years, this fall PBS plans to adopt ratings-target figures to evaluate which programs to greenlight, a move that will influence the pubcaster's support of docs.
May 1, 2004

Struggling through a funding drought that has seen underwriting fall by 26% in the last two years, this fall PBS plans to adopt ratings-target figures to evaluate which programs to greenlight, a move that will influence the pubcaster’s support of docs.

‘We’ll create ratings goals at the time programs are greenlit,’ explains pbs spokesperson Jan MacNamara. ‘Programs will be assigned different objectives. We wouldn’t look for the same rating from ‘Nova’ and Live from Lincoln Center.’ Targets will be hammered out with producers over the summer.

MacNamara says the changes, disclosed in PBS’ internal 2005 programming strategy report, will have a minimal impact on commissioning. ‘Our mission hasn’t changed, nor do these new measures represent a huge shift, since we’ve always considered viewership to be a measure in performance.’

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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