CPB Media Room

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Funds Cost-Saving Technology Project for New York Public Television Stations

  • For Immediate Release on October 13, 2011

Consolidating stations’ broadcast operations could generate $25 million in savings over the next decade

Washington, D.C. -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) this week announced a grant of more than $6.6 million to consolidate the broadcast operations of nine New York public television stations into a single entity.

The grant is part of CPB’s ongoing effort to help public media stations operate more efficiently and generate cost savings that can be invested in increasing local content and services.

Funding from CPB enables the station collaboration to build and manage one centralized master control, which will automate the on-air operations of 34 public television channels run by nine New York stations, including two New Jersey channels operated by WNET. The single, cutting- edge facility, housed at WCNY in Syracuse, is expected to save participating stations more than $25 million over the next decade.

These savings can be used to continue much-needed K-12 educational activities, local election coverage and secondary channels such as the Spanish-language “V-me” service.

“At CPB, we work every day to strengthen and advance the public media system in this country,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “By strategically investing in projects that help stations collaborate and operate more efficiently, we enhance their capacity to deliver quality local content and services in the communities they serve.”

“This is an exciting development in the future of public media. Thanks to CPB’s support and guidance, stations collaborated to create a new model of efficiency and cooperation that is more powerful than anything any individual station could have done,” said Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET. “We think we've forged an enduring alliance that will keep our public media stations strong and allow us to concentrate our resources on producing great content.”

The project serves as a model for those public stations around the country that want to benefit from economies of scale in a challenging economic environment.

“Over the years, New York State’s public television stations have worked cooperatively to achieve operational savings and deliver educational programs and services to teachers, students and parents. Our Joint Master Control initiative represents a continuation and extension of these collaborative efforts,” said Robert J. Daino, president and CEO of WCNY. “In this very difficult fiscal climate, consolidation of our master control operations will result in considerable operational savings, insuring our ability to continue to make available the types of community engagement, educational programs and other services that will improve teacher quality and ultimately student performance.”

Each station will retain full control of its own broadcast schedule, including popular local programs and multi-cast channels providing statewide legislative coverage.

The new master control facility will help WCNY transform an empty warehouse on the edge of downtown Syracuse into its new broadcast home. The 56,000 sq. ft. space will also house television and radio production studios, a learning center, a concert auditorium, a cafe and other amenities.

The CPB grant will go to Centralcast, LLC, a collaborative of public television stations formed by the Association of Public Broadcasting Stations of New York (comprising WCFE, WCNY, WNET, WLIW, WNED, WMHT, WPBS, WSKG and WXXI).

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

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