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Thursday, November 24, 2011

KUHT 8 makes some changes

I told you how former KHOU 11 director of programming and marketing Lisa Trapani Shumate was taking over at KUHT 8 Houston PBS and 88.7 KUHF NPR. Well she's started the new leadership role and we are already seeing some changes to KUHT:

The station is exploring new opportunities for its upcoming on-air Membership Campaign. Rather than seeing just specials designed to support membership appeals during the drive, when viewers tune in they’ll see more of the regular HoustonPBS schedule.

“We’ve heard from our members, and they’ve told us they miss their favorite shows when they’re pre-empted by our membership drives, so we are making changes,” said Lisa Trapani Shumate, the new Executive Director/General Manager of Houston Public Media.

Viewers can watch Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, NOVA and NATURE during the drive in their regular time slots. Since the station still needs to raise funds, people will be encouraged to support their favorite shows as well as the work HoustonPBS does beyond broadcast.

“Many viewers are not aware of the incredible work the station does in the community, so we’ll use this opportunity to talk about some of those activities like our childcare provider workshops, the Spelling Bee, Community Cinema and the PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest,” said Trapani Shumate.

The drive will kick off at noon on Thanksgiving Day with six viewer-selected episodes of the hit British show, Doc Martin, leading to the season three series premiere later that evening. PBS favorites Andrea Bocelli, Celtic Woman and the My Music series will return with brand new performances.

HoustonPBS is dedicating two nights, December 7 and 8, to showcasing a number of local individuals and organizations during live studio broadcasts under the banner, Celebrate Houston. The goal is to spotlight the work being done in the areas of science, technology and the arts and to reinforce the station’s commitment to serving the community. Scheduled guests include representatives from the Society for the Performing Arts, the Houston Endowment, the University of Houston and Project Grad.

“Houston is a remarkable city. There is so much going on, and so many people are doing amazing work in the fields of science, technology and the arts, but not everyone has a chance to hear from the people who contribute to the fabric of our community,” said Trapani Shumate. “As public broadcasters we can go deeper and tell these stories in a unique way.”

The HoustonPBS Winter Membership Drive begins on Thursday, November 24 and runs through Sunday, December 11. To become a member of HoustonPBS call 713-743-8483 or visit

This has been something I've wondered about and have heard complaints on. Why would KUHT run different programming during membership drives? If you want to financially support the station, you must like its shows. So why during the pledge drives, would it run a ton of musical performances and preempt normal programming? Maybe those musical shows give natural breaks for pledge time. Maybe it was a PBS thing. I don't know. But these changes make sense to me. COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here