With microwave proceeds, Schwartz nonprofits offer to buy and revive pubTV channels

By Dru Sefton, Current
October 6, 2011

A consortium of five nonprofits headed by public media activist and founder John B. Schwartz is offering to purchase and help revitalize financially at-risk public TV stations through a new initiative, Independent Public Media.

The nonprofits’ proceeds from spectrum transactions, about $40 million, will help “recapitalize and sustain” troubled pubTV stations by implementing a business model and serving a more diverse audience, according to a release.

“We have proposals out to a couple of stations, and we will participate in an auction of KCSM,” the pubTV station to be sold in San Mateo, Calif., said Ken Devine, IPM’s chief operating officer, who is a former v.p. of media operations and chief information officer of New York’s WNET.