PBS Seeks Host for Kids Block

Noncommercial TV is building a new digital neighborhood. Now all it needs is a new Mr. (or Ms.) Rogers.

PBS has launched what it calls a "nationwide search" for the host of a new preschool programming block and online destination to debut in fall 2006.

The new effort is part of a just-announced five-year initative, PBS Kids Next Generation Media, to figure out the role of noncommercial programming in the new-media mix.

PBS is looking at teachers and child-development specialists as well as TV vets ((Fred Rogers was both) as potential hosts of the block, which will air for at least two hours each morning and provide a mix of veteran shows like Sesame Street with new shows.

PBS says it is looking for an "authentic talent who embodies a warm, creative and charismatic approach to lifelong learning and child engagement." That host will provide interstitials to wrap around the TV shows and host online games and activities.

Any would-be hosts will find submission info at www.pbsparents.org beginning Friday, Jan. 20

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.