PBS had to face up to a stark reality: Despite ranking at the top in surveys of trust in broadcasters, its biggest fans were either children or elderly.
That’s when it decided to go out on a limb, particularly with digital media. That meant more than just putting its programming online but also doing controlled experiments. In one notable effort, the PBS digital team spent countless hours doing what we all do on a daily basis: surf YouTube for great content. They identified YouTube creators they felt were doing interesting and provocative stuff and reached out to a few asking if they’d be willing to work with PBS. Some bit
That led PBS to John Boswell, who had been autotuning on YouTube. The somewhat wacky idea was to have have Boswell autotune Mr. Rogers as a way to reintroducing him to an audience that moved on. After getting internal buy-in from not only the corporate body but also from owners of Mr. Rogers’ intellectual property, as well as owners of local stations, the team went to work.
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