Sid Bedingfield To Lead Innovative PBS Content Project Produced By KCET Los Angeles and KQED San Francisco
Los Angeles/San Francisco, CA - May 17, 2006 - PBS member stations KCET Los Angeles and KQED San Francisco announced today the appointment of Sid Bedingfield, former CNN executive and producer, to the position of president of the newly created California Fault Line Productions - a non-profit production company created by KCET and KQED. Bedingfield will lead the development, production and distribution of television programming, digital media and web content for PBS' "public square" service. This public affairs content project for television and Internet has received initial funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
As part of this effort, Bedingfield's first mandate will be to produce a pilot for a one-hour nightly program entitled Global Watch (w.t.), scheduled to premiere initially on PBS in fall 2006. Global Watch (w.t.) plans to develop its content from breaking Internet reports of worldwide events, as well as from mainstream media (MSM).
Along with Global Watch (w.t.), other series in development for the "public square" service include an international documentary series from ITVS in San Francisco, a television version of Public Radio International's "The World," and a public affairs series showcasing the best of local public television programs from stations across the country entitled C2C.
PBS' "public square" programming block is slated to be part of a national digital broadcast channel produced in conjunction with WGBH Boston, Thirteen/WNET New York, WETA Washington, DC, and PBS, called WORLD. WORLD will provide PBS stations across the country with a robust, 24/7 non-fiction channel, offering factual programming from PBS and award-winning producers. Public square's collaborative partnership will also explore multiple and cross-platform development applications with the goal of providing viewers access to both video and audio news and information from PBS, one of the country's most trusted news sources. WORLD is scheduled to launch nationally in early 2007.
KCET and KQED currently collaborate on the award-winning weekly newsmagazine "California Connected," a project of four PBS member stations, which recently earned a 2006 National Headliner Award and launched its fifth season.
Bedingfield has held key positions on both the international and domestic networks at CNN over the past 19 years. He helped launch CNN International as a separate network with its own original programming and served as CNNI's senior executive producer of live programming for five years. During that time, he served in the field as senior producer on such major news events as the election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, the U.S. occupation of Haiti, the elections of Boris Yeltsin in Russia and the British handover of Hong Kong to China.
Later, Bedingfield served as executive vice president and general manager of the CNN/US network, overseeing all programming and personnel issues. He oversaw the network's coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and their aftermath. In his most recent position, Bedingfield oversaw CNN Productions, a documentary and long-form unit that produced and acquired about 50 hours of programming each year for CNN/US and CNN International.
Under Bedingfield, CNN Productions had one documentary nominated for an Academy Award (Autism is a World, co-produced with State of the Art, Inc.) and won numerous other honors, including Polk, Headliner, Overseas Press Club and Edward R. Murrow awards.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. One of its signature programs is Journalism Initiatives. Since its creation in 1950, Knight has approved more than $275 million in journalism grants. For more information, visit www.knightfdn.org.
About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has been a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide, guided by its goals of strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international cooperation and advancing human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Russia. For more information about the Ford Foundation, go to www.fordfound.org.
KCET, public television for southern and central California, is watched by four million viewers a week in 11 counties, the largest broadcast reach of any public television station in the United States. Throughout its forty-plus year history, KCET has garnered hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, and its outreach and community services. Series produced from the station's Hollywood studios include Life & Times, California Connected, Tavis Smiley and A Place of Our Own/Los Niños en Su Casa. Additional information on KCET can be found at www.kcet.org
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during prime-time, and KQED's digital television channels, which include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED Kids; KQED Public Radio with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, one of the most visited station sites in Public Broadcasting; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 348 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of other educational services. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.
Cathy Williams, KCET (323) 953-5243
Yoon Lee, KQED (415) 553-3338
Carrie Johnson, PBS (703) 739-5129