NEW REGIME FOR KERA

When Dr. Richard J. Meyer took over as president of KERA six weeks ago, he lost no time taking the public television station out of the magazine business. A money-loser from the beginning, Texas Vision Magazine has been abandoned in favor of The Dial, a joint venture of 10 PBS-affiliated stations, featuring articles by nationally known writers.

Meyer, who came to Dallas from the public broadcasting station in Seattle, also moved quickly to tone down Channel 13’s pledge breaks. The “Quiet Drive” in May relied on short spots with no phone banks and no program interruptions, in hopes that viewers would send $350,000 in gratitude for some peaceful TV viewing. In Seattle, Meyer had 100,000 members, where at KERA, membership stands at 68,000. He wants to close that gap.

Meyer would also like to beef up the budget for KERA-FM, which he believes should be closer to $1 million than the current $200,000. Meyer plans to seek new funds from foundations plus corporate underwriting dollars for radio shows.

The big question is, what is the future of KERA’s local TV programs, Newsday, Voices and Business Edition? Meyer has put KERA vice president Pat Perini in charge of findine the answer.

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