April 2, 2009, PORTLAND, OR - The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has selected Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) as the Initiative Manager of the American Archives Pilot Program, a project designed to determine the processes needed to restore, digitize, and preserve public broadcasting’s deteriorating collections of local television and radio content.

“The American Archive will preserve important public media content which can be accessed by Americans of all ages for years to come and in ways now made possible through technology,” said Pat Harrison, President and CEO of CPB.  “We are pleased to have the talented team at OPB working with us on this important initiative.”

“We know we’ve already lost precious footage to deterioration and neglect,” says Steve Bass, President and CEO of Oregon Public Broadcasting.  “We at OPB are honored to be at the forefront of this effort to preserve the pictures and sounds that hold the record of our life as a nation.”

As Initiative Manager, OPB will administer a Request For Proposals, awarding approximately $3-million to local public radio and television stations selected to participate in the pilot phase of the project. Awards will go to 25-30 public radio and television licensees, large and small, representing all regions of the country. The grants will help stations pay for locating, digitizing and coding their archive footage.

The pilot project will center on content related to the civil rights movement and World War II. OPB and CPB will release the request for proposals in early April, and announce station grants in mid-June. OPB, along with a team of advisors and historians, will select the participating stations.

In the future, CPB hopes to secure additional funding to establish a much larger library of historic media with a goal of making thousands of hours of material available to the public.

About OPB
OPB is the state’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world. Every week, over 1.5 million people tune in to or log on to OPB’s Television, Radio and Internet delivered services. As the hub of operations for the state’s Emergency Broadcast and Amber Alert services, OPB serves as the backbone for the distribution of critical information to broadcasters and homes throughout Oregon. OPB is one of the largest producers and presenters of national television programming through PBS, and is also a member station of NPR, Public Radio International (PRI), and American Public Media (APM). The OPB Web site is opb.org.