KQED’s QUEST Science Series Receives Nearly $1 million Grant from Corporation for Public Broadcasting to Expand Nationally

— Collaboration with Six PBS and NPR Stations on Science and Environment Reporting —

— 2011 Season Premieres with “Tracking Elephant Seals and Searching for Life on Mars” Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30pm on KQED 9 Public Television —

San Francisco, April 20, 2011 — KQED, the public media organization serving the San Francisco Bay Area, is expanding its Emmy Award-winning science and environment series QUEST with a $990,527 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).  QUEST has been working to train six PBS stations across the United States on adopting QUEST’s multimedia science reporting model.  Now, with this new CPB grant, QUEST will be “test driving” its model in markets outside the San Francisco Bay Area, working closely with partner stations to pilot production of a variety of science and environment stories on television, radio, and the Web.

QUEST’s PBS partner stations are: WCPN and WVIZ Cleveland; NET Nebraska; UNC-TV North Carolina; WHYY Philadelphia; KCTS Seattle; WPT and WPR Wisconsin.

QUEST has been a very successful initiative in multimedia science reporting for Northern California, and we are grateful to CPB for the support to share the QUEST model with other public broadcasters.  This process of experimentation, finding what works and sharing what works with others will help ensure that public media remains a vital resource for Americans well into the 21st century,” said John Boland, KQED’s president and CEO.

“Historically, public broadcasting stations generally work independently from one another.  We are excited for this opportunity to experiment with a new way of storytelling where several stations are creating content together.  The challenge will be to make stories from other stations relevant to local audiences,” said Sue Ellen McCann, QUEST’s executive producer.

“At a time when many local newspapers are cutting back on science reporting, public media continues to create new, multi-platform content to increase audience awareness and understanding of the natural world around them.  Expansion of KQED’s QUEST model in six cities will provide citizens with greater access to highly localized and engaging science-based content that is uniquely available through public media,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB.

QUEST also will continue its multimedia coverage of Bay Area science, environment, and nature issues, starting its fifth television season at 7:30pm on Wednesday, May 4. In the season premiere episode, QUEST producers track elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Reserve along the San Mateo County coast and search for life on Mars with scientists at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. Other episodes in May investigate Northern California’s bats, the science of cheese-making, and how redwoods are adapting to climate change.

KQED’s Largest Multimedia Project

Launched in February 2007, QUEST is KQED’s largest multimedia project to date. Since its inception four years ago, QUEST has reached approximately 36 million viewers and listeners through its traditional television and radio broadcasts and its growing Web audience.

QUEST’s ultimate aim is to raise science literacy throughout the Bay Area and beyond, inspiring audiences to discover and explore the latest science and environmental news, trends and issues.  The project’s multimedia science reporting model includes a weekly television broadcast, weekly radio reports, free educator resources, and a dynamic website that includes a new Web-only series Science on the SPOT, a daily science blog written by Northern California scientists, Flickr photos, and local science hikes.  QUEST also works closely with 17 community partners, not only on story idea collaborations and events, but also on media training, including new Web strategies.

In addition to support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, major funding for QUEST is provided by the National Science Foundation.  Additional support is provided by the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the George and Jeanette Stuart Charitable Trust.

About KQED

KQED (kqed.org) has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KTEH 54 (San Jose/Bay Area), and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5FM San Francisco and 89.3FM Sacramento); the interactive platforms kqed.org, kteh.org, and KQEDnews.org; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television, one of the nation’s most-watched public television stations, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; This Week in Northern California; Truly CA; and Essential Pépin. KQED’s digital television channels include 9HD, Life, World, Kids, and V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast.  KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny and The California Report, is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service delivering more than 18 local newscasts daily.  KQED Interactive hosts KQED’s cross-platform news service, KQED News, and offers video and audio podcasts and a live radio stream at kqed.org. KQED Education brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents, and the general public through workshops, community screenings, and multimedia resources.


Media Contact: Sevda Eris