I kid because I love! (Or rather, because I’m bitter about the Times beating me in my own back yard.)
Anyway … Twin Cities Public Television got some nice play in this morning’s Gray Lady about a national project aimed at graying viewers (45 to 65 years old). Called “Next Avenue,” it’s a compendium of “original and aggregated content from public and nonprofit partners — organized around health and wellness; money and financial security; and a category called living and learning — that is expected to start April 1.”
Yeah, sounds kind of deadly to me, too, but then, so are Moody Blues concerts. Times advertising reporter Elizabeth Jensen says the TPT-based project has hauled in $5 million in start-up grants.
What, you say: Public media and advertising? It seems the business twist is that “Next Avenue” is trying to become self-sustaining by “offering multimillion-dollar exclusive 52-week sponsor packages in the health, money, and living and learning categories, rather than using the traditional public TV approach of selling spots in specific shows.”
The effort will also put labeled sponsored content into the site itself, much like BringMeTheNews does locally. (MinnPost offers something similar, but we link to it from the ad side of the layout.) There are e-newsletters and synergies and all that other good stuff.
Has anyone ponied up yet? The article say in some cases, “Next Avenue” salesfolk “have been invited back for third and fourth presentations.” In other words, no. But organizers are giving themselves five years to get to sustainability.
Speaking of getting beat, I’m overdue in referencing John Vomhof, Jr.’s in-depth article on TPT’s finances. Short version: donations down, first operating deficit in over a decade, cuts ahead, but so far no change in programming.
Also, last week, TPT announced a new three-year contract with one of its unions, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.