PBS has told member stations that "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" will only be available to air one episode weekly beginning in the fall. This past season, stations that wanted to air the "Neighborhood" daily had that option. Not anymore.
"PBS is operating under very tight budget constraints and it already has a full program lineup to support Monday through Friday," said Kevin Morrison, chief operating officer for Rogers' Oakland-based Family Communications Inc. "If it was offering ‘Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' on a daily basis it would only be as an option to the existing full lineup of programs, and that option is an expensive option for them and the financial situation prevents them from making that an option."
Presumably that means WQED will also air the show just once a week, although I haven't gotten definitive clarification on that yet.
Morrison said PBS remains supportive of the "Neighborhood," launching a revamped Web site for the show this week at the PBS Kids site.
"It's a demonstration of their continuing commitment to keep ‘Mister Rogers' on the Web," Morrison said this week. "They put a lot of time and effort into keeping that fresh and alive and it certainly looks good."
The updated site includes a section called "Neighbors of All Ages" that invites fans to post their memories and photos of growing up with Fred Rogers. Video clips of Rogers are posted with more due this fall.
For more, on this topic and what you can do to voice your opinion, visit SaveMisterRogers.com.