PBS pulls branding on ‘Mediashift’

May 8, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

Future-of-news program “PBS Mediashift” will lose its affiliation with PBS beginning in July, Executive Editor Mark Glaser announced Friday.

Although the podcast and its associated programs will no longer be hosted at PBS.org or contain the public broadcaster’s branding in their titles, Glaser said “Mediashift” will continue in its current form as an independent entity. Idea Lab, an initiative focused on media innovation, and EducationShift, which focuses on developments in journalism education, will also continue.

PBS’ decision to disassociate itself from the program comes more than a year after its decision to pull funding from the program, Glaser said. Today’s news means PBS will no longer offer the program space on its servers or license to use its branding.

Glaser says he was notified of the decision a few days ago and has begun reviewing plans for migrating the site to its own domain. He says the split is a reflection of PBS’ emphasis of broadcasting and TV over digital.

Since PBS pulled its funding last year, Glaser says “Mediashift” has developed new revenue streams which will make going completely independent a viable option. The program has begun putting on training workshops and holding events in order to bolster its bottom line.

“I think we’ve proved, at least in the last year and a half, that we can survive without funding,” Glaser said.

Leaving PBS entirely will also mean being freed from strictures around sponsorships and give the program more latitude to experiment with new programs and funding models, Glaser said. He says the audience for the podcast has grown in response to the increased demand for digital audio, and the website’s collective audience numbers between 150,000 and 200,000 unique users per month.

Disclosure: Poynter has partnered with “PBS Mediashift” to put on programs in the past.

Correction: A previous version of this story paraphrased Glaser as commenting on PBS’ emphasis of broadcasting over digital audio. In fact, he restricted his comments to a perceived de-emphasis of digital media in general.