Indie Caucus responds to PBS's statement about yesterday's Norman Lear op-ed in The New York Times.

A open letter from the Indie Caucus to the independent filmmaking community, PBS viewers, PBS, POV, Independent Lens, and WNET:  

We deeply appreciate the concern that Norman Lear expressed in his eloquent April 7, op-ed in The New York Times. Mr. Lear expressed the values of public service and democracy that are at the heart of the PBS mission.  

Regarding the PBS response, we are pleased to see that PBS, POV, Independent Lens and WNET are, “working collaboratively to ensure that POV and Independent Lens reach the widest possible audience. This includes a primetime placement on local stations' broadcast schedules, as well as distribution on digital platforms…”

Since December 2014, when WNET proposed bumping the series to the same time slot on its much smaller sibling station and running the programs on its main channel as reruns nearly a week later, Indie Caucus has worked in good faith alongside PBS on a national listening tour. At each stop, independent producers, station programmers, and other public media and community members voiced their concerns and ideas about how to strengthen support for the independent voices featured on Independent Lens and POV.

The listening tour is over. PBS has heard from Americans across the country and their message was clear; PBS must commit to a concrete and detailed plan concerning the future of Independent Lens and POV. Is PBS committing to Monday nights, as indicated during the last stop of the listening tour in Chicago? If so, for how long? We are asking that PBS announce its plan for the future of Independent Lens and POV as soon as possible.

The next few weeks leading up to the PBS Annual Meeting in May, are critical. We must remain vigilant until a final agreement is reached. Please sign our petition and share it widely.

In Solidarity,

Indie Caucus
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