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KPBS Hosts First Ever Convergence Boot Camp

Qualcomm founder and philanthropist Dr. Irwin Jacobs to address participants

Credit: art by Tony Zuniga

Above: Logo for KPBS Convergence Boot Camp. The 2-day meeting takes place in February at KPBS, San Diego.

— KPBS announced plans to hold a two-day conference for public media stations looking to converge their organization and content to reach a wider audience. The Convergence Boot Camp will be held at KPBS in San Diego on February 7 and 8, 2013. Station leadership, management, and staff are invited to attend and learn how to implement similar strategies as KPBS -- with the goal of creating a successful and efficient organization.

KPBS Contact

Claudine Casillas - (619) 594-4266

Trisha Richter - (619) 594-0674 | email

The boot camp is the first time that KPBS will host public media peers in a conference-like setting. “Based on the number of calls and station visits we are getting, it’s clear that sharing our convergence story can be instrumental for the system and ensure our successful future.” said KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo. “We are excited to bring station leaders together—in person—to share our story with them.”

KPBS is pleased to feature the founding chairman and CEO Emeritus of Qualcomm and celebrated San Diego philanthropist Dr. Irwin Jacobs in a conversation with station leaders and boot camp participants. Jacobs, a long-time supporter of KPBS, will share his motivation to fund the station’s transformation to a multi-media journalism center and discuss his support for public media as a whole.

Boot camp participants will hear directly from KPBS leaders who spearheaded the bold plan as well as the journalists who work in the multi-platform environment. Members of KPBS’ development team will also present tools and tips for generating financial support for the transformation. Participants will have ample time to see the Joan and Irwin Jacobs KPBS News Center in action and network with KPBS staff and other public media professionals.

Several stations throughout the public media system have made site visits to KPBS including Houston Public Media (KUHF and Houston PBS), Marketplace, PBS SoCal, APRN-KSKA/FM (Alaska Public Television), and KCPT in Kansas. NPR President Gary Knell also visited the San Diego shop last January and saw the KPBS operations in action. “So impressed with KPBS in San Diego,” tweeted Knell. “Great journalism hub, staff converging media, and local support. Kudos!”

KPBS began its convergence journey more than six years ago with the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fund for Reporting Excellence. The project aimed to cross-train public radio journalists and develop methods of sharing and distributing digital content. The project underscored the need to fully integrate KPBS’ news and production teams to produce content for all platforms: radio, TV, and online.

Thanks to a second gift from Joan and Irwin Jacobs in 2011, the station was able to renovate its building and physically bring the content areas together. The KPBS newsroom now operates from the second floor in an open workspace that maximizes communication and innovation across all three media platforms.

“KPBS has accomplished a lot in the last few years,” said Karlo. “We’ve expanded our news operations, created a signature evening news program for TV, and fully converged our news and content teams. Now we want to share the formula for our success so other public media stations throughout the country can have similar results.”

KPBS Boot Camp Basics

Dates: February 7 & 8, 2013

Location: KPBS in San Diego

Cost: $475 per attendee /$1200 for group of 3 / $1600 for group of 4

Register Now

Boot Camp registration is $475 per attendee with a group rate available for stations sending more than one staff member. Prospective attendees can contact Trisha Richter at (619) 594-0674 or via email for more information.

KPBS is a public service of San Diego State University, serving the region with TV, Radio, and Internet content that educates, inspires, entertains, and advances civic involvement.

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