Performance Report

Performance Results Achieved for Fiscal Year 2023

Introduction

I am pleased to present Iowa PBS’s performance report for fiscal year 2023. This report contains information about the services Iowa PBS and its partners provided for Iowans during the past fiscal year. The report is prepared in accordance with the Accountable Government Act to improve decision-making and increase accountability to stakeholders and citizens. This report contains performance information on how well Iowa PBS is achieving its strategic plan goals. The report also contains performance information on Iowa PBS’s primary activities, services, and products.

Iowa PBS provides quality, noncommercial programming to make a difference in the lives of Iowans. Our mission is to educate, inform, enrich, and inspire Iowans. As one of the last locally-controlled media enterprises in the state, Iowa PBS is committed to telling Iowa's stories like no one else can. We present an unequaled array of programs of lasting value to Iowans, regardless of where they live or what they can afford.

Iowa PBS broadcasts approximately 570 hours of high quality, locally produced programming that reflects a range of interests for Iowans across all demographic categories. This programming is provided to Iowans via four programming channels – Iowa PBS (.1), Iowa PBS KIDS (.2), Iowa PBS WORLD (.3), and Iowa PBS Create (.4). Iowa PBS stations distributing these channels to Iowans include: KDIN Channel 11, Des Moines; KIIN Channel 12, Iowa City; KTIN Channel 25, Fort Dodge; KYIN Channel 18, Mason City; KSIN Channel 28, Sioux City; KRIN Channel 35, Waterloo; KBIN Channel 33, Council Bluffs; KQIN Channel 34, Davenport; KHIN Channel 35, Red Oak. Locally produced programs and 24/7 livestreams of Iowa PBS.1 and Iowa PBS KIDS.2 may also be viewed at iowapbs.org. Iowa PBS programs, behind-the-scenes extras and more can be enjoyed on iowapbs.org, Facebook and YouTube. Viewers may also stream their favorite shows using the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android and many streaming devices.

During FY2023, Iowa PBS continued its focus on creating and providing locally-produced and locally-focused, enlightening and entertaining programming and educational content that appeals to its audiences.

Iowa PBS was honored with two Public Media Awards from the National Educational Telecommunications Association in 2023. The first award was given in the Military Chronicles content category for USS Iowa. USS Iowa is a legendary battleship built to defend America during WWII. This symbol of naval power is intertwined with the stories of those who served through campaigns of triumph and tragedy. The second award was given in the Short Form content category for Iowa Miss Amazing. Iowa Miss Amazing provides opportunities for girls and women with disabilities across Iowa to build self-esteem. The Public Media Awards are an annual recognition of public broadcasting’s finest work, a tradition established in the 1960s.

Iowa PBS was also honored with eight regional Emmy® award nominations from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2023. Three of the nominees went on to earn awards in their respective categories. The nominees included: Meredith Willson: America’s Music Man (Documentary – Cultural); Governors of Iowa: Robert Ray (Documentary - Historical); Telling Our Own Story: Black History (Documentary - Historical); Telling Our Own Story: Ending Racism (Documentary - Topical); Telling Our Own Story: Poverty and the Wealth Gap (Public Affairs Program); Sioux City Symphony and the Legendary John Osborn (Entertainment – Long Form Content); Des Moines Metro Opera Presents A Thousand Acres

(Arts & Entertainment – Long Form Content); and USS Iowa (Military – Short or Long Form Content). The three regional Emmy® Awards winners included Meredith Willson: America’s Music Man, USS Iowa and Sioux City Symphony and the Legendary John Osborn.

Iowa PBS continues to expand its services beyond broadcast by utilizing the internet as a distribution mechanism. Viewers can not only find information regarding our schedules and programs, but also hours of video from Iowa PBS and PBS programming, activities for children, and timely, relevant, educational resources from Iowa PBS and PBS for our teachers. In the past year, there were over 5.7 million video views on Iowa PBS’s YouTube channel.

Iowa PBS travels across Iowa presenting at educational conferences and providing professional development in educational settings ranging from early childhood centers to universities. These professional development sessions/events align with our goal of providing free educational resources/information for both formal and informal educators throughout the state.

PBS Learning Media is rapidly becoming the choice for 21st century educators as they look for innovative digital content to ignite learning. Expressly designed for educators, this free service brings together the best of public media digital content from award-winning programs. With the access to new data gathering technologies, we are better able to see who is coming to Iowa PBS Learning Media and from where across the country.

Iowa PBS met or exceeded its performance target in fourteen of the seventeen (one measure is new this year) performance plan measures presented on pages 12 through 16. Iowa PBS’s future focus on meeting viewers where they are – on the air, online, and on the ground – will increase the value of its services to the citizens of the State.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity.

Sincerely,

Molly M. Phillips
Executive Director and General Manager
Iowa PBS

Network Overview

Mission

Iowa PBS educates, informs, enriches and inspires Iowans.

Vision

Iowa PBS enriches lives.

Purpose

Iowa is at the heart of Iowa PBS. Iowa PBS offers Iowans a partner in their quest for community and lifelong learning by engaging people of all ages with trusted services and programming that both educate and inspire. A statewide hub for public policy and a platform for civic and civil discourse, Iowa PBS provides news and information with historical perspective that enhances the lives of Iowans from all backgrounds, all generations, and all walks of life. Iowa PBS is committed to delivering high-quality and innovative media and services that create insight, fulfillment, and growth while offering companionship, comfort, and entertainment. Iowa PBS provides the lens through which Iowans may better see their world.

Guiding Principles

The people who work at Iowa PBS—staff and volunteer—share the following beliefs:

  • As broadcasters and educators, we hold a public trust with the people of Iowa.
  • Television can be a force for good, and we will exercise its use with integrity.
  • Public television should be available to everyone in the state.
  • Our programs impact the lives of those who view them; and their worth is determined by their use, their quality and the service they provide to their viewers.
  • The people who make public television and the people who watch it will be treated with dignity and respect.

Iowa PBS strives to be a vital and important part of the lives of Iowans of all backgrounds, all generations, and all walks of life. We reach all of Iowa with our broadcast and online signals; similarly, our programs and services are aimed at all those who live here.

Iowa PBS provides Iowa’s youngest residents – and their parents and teachers, grandparents and caregivers – with trusted quality children’s services that educate and entertain, encouraging them to be part of a broader community. We engage learners with interactive educational tools through their early childhood programs, schools, and teachers, taking them on trips that enhance learning.

Iowans turn to Iowa PBS as a preferred source for information about the state we call home. Through interactive internet, virtual field trips to Iowa landmarks, television programming about our government, our communities, our student-athletes, and our musicians, and through educational opportunities that go beyond our broadcast, Iowans look to us as their partner in their quest for community and lifelong learning.

Iowa PBS strives to be a key source of information about Iowa, a hub for civic and civil discourse, a center for community engagement, and a leader in Iowa’s future.

Core Functions and Key Services

Iowa PBS is Iowa’s statewide public broadcasting network. Iowa PBS has two core functions.

  1. With public broadcast and media services, Iowa PBS provides public television, telecommunications, and other services that educate and enrich people’s lives. Activities include programming, video creation, educational opportunities, outreach and engagement and other media services.
  2. With educational services, Iowa PBS imparts knowledge by developing skills and competencies through broadcast services or other avenues. Activities may include programming, professional development, public awareness efforts, planning, research and evaluation, technical assistance, curriculum development, and fiscal and/or program oversight.

Iowa PBS staff is focused on creating and providing entertaining programming and educational content that appeal to its customers. Support staff and the Iowa PBS Foundation staff contribute to the creative process by making available necessary administrative services and funding.

As a professional broadcast organization, Iowa PBS is protective of its First Amendment rights and responsibilities to exercise independent journalistic and editorial judgments. Decisions are continuously scrutinized to ensure that programming and educational content are free of political influence or commercial consideration. Iowa PBS also has the ability to build collaboration among partners, thereby extending the value of products and services.

Customers and Stakeholders

Iowa PBS’s three key customer groups are viewers, educators, and funders.

Viewers want to receive our network’s content with a clear, clean signal, easy access online, a variety of available content and consistent and quality programming.

Educators expect quality programming and services that fit their core curriculum. While educators expect outreach tools such as study guides and workshops, viewers see outreach more as a bonus than an expectation. When choosing technology based curriculum materials, the two most important criteria for teachers are relevance to the curriculum and age/grade appropriateness.

Funders such as government agencies and foundations expect mission critical work to be completed and delivered within the funding cycle. Underwriters expect on-air credit around programs that deliver a targeted audience. Iowa PBS Foundation members want strong customer service and recognition for donations and gifts.

Delivery Mechanisms

Programming is delivered to viewers by over-the-air digital broadcast, cable and satellite providers, as well as Iowa PBS Passport, IowaPBS.org, PBS.org, and a variety of social media platforms, including: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Tik Tok. Services to educational customers are provided through broadcast airwaves, the Iowa Area Education Agencies, and the internet and social media, including: iowapbs.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Organizational Structure

The Iowa Public Broadcasting Board, the broadcast licensee, governs Iowa PBS, approves its budget and sets general programming objectives and policy guidelines. Iowa PBS is an autonomous agency under the umbrella of the Iowa Department of Education. The Iowa Public Broadcasting Board hires the Executive Director/General Manager of Iowa PBS.

The Iowa PBS Foundation is a separate 501(c)3 that exists to foster giving to Iowa PBS. The Iowa PBS Foundation Board is comprised of as many as twenty-four (24) members. This Board shall include representation from several geographic areas of the State of Iowa. The Board members are approved by both the Iowa PBS Foundation Board and the Iowa Public Broadcasting Board.

Staff

Iowa PBS employs 91 full-time staff. An additional staff of 17 is employed by the Iowa PBS Foundation. Talent, contractors, and intermittent employees are hired as needed for productions and other network activities.

Locations

Iowa PBS operates nine high-power digital transmitters and eight translators across Iowa. The 62,000 square foot headquarters in Johnston houses three production studios, master control, edit suites, scene shop, and field production equipment. A satellite farm is also located on the seven and one-half acres of ground in Johnston. Iowa PBS owns a second building in Johnston for additional Iowa PBS and Foundation staff.

Budget

Iowa PBS had a $16,830,000 annual operating budget in FY 2023, of which state appropriations were approximately 47%.

Key Results

Programming and Production, Local Production

Description: The acquisition, production and scheduling of local programs that educate, inform, enrich and inspire viewers each month across the state, resulting in 570 broadcast hours of local programs covering Iowa issues and events this past fiscal year.

Why we are doing this: Iowa PBS is Iowa’s network of community, education, enlightenment, and civic engagement – distinguished from all other media sources by local ownership and by its commitment of service to Iowans. Iowa PBS’s local programs are the embodiment of that commitment.

What we're doing to achieve results: Iowa PBS provides its production staff with new technology and training opportunities to help them produce high-quality programming more efficiently. Iowa PBS utilizes an internal Audience Research & Tracking Committee to help Iowa PBS determine the local topics of greatest value to Iowans using available data, data tracking practices and measures of success. Iowa PBS is also working closely with Iowa’s diverse community of independent filmmakers to support them in producing locally relevant programming for broadcast on Iowa PBS.

Performance Measure: Total number of broadcast hours of local programs covering Iowa issues and events broadcast over-the-air on Iowa PBS’s four channels.

Performance Target: 700

Data Sources: Myers ProTrack data management software.

Results

Year Locally Produced Broadcast Hours
2019 1,058
2020 1,015
2021 902
2022 747
2023 570
2024 Target 700

Data reliability: Every second (24/7/365) of programming Iowa PBS broadcasts over-the-air on its four broadcast channels is scheduled using Myers ProTrack data management software. Iowa PBS notes the source of each program scheduled for broadcast in ProTrack. ProTrack can easily distinguish local programs by source. The 570 broadcast hours of local programming total is derived from four reports – one for each of Iowa PBS’s broadcast channels – generated by ProTrack. The information is 100% accurate, with the only margin of error existing in the hand-calculation of the grand total from the four subtotals.

Why we are using this measure: While Iowa PBS’s noncommercial, public-service mission enables the organization to concentrate on presenting an unequaled array of programs of lasting value to Iowans regardless of where they live or what they can afford, increasing the amount of local programs each year has been imperative. In an ever-expanding media landscape that gives Iowans unlimited content choices, furthering Iowa PBS’s mission relies on its ability to connect on a local level. Iowa PBS’s local programs offer a unique choice to Iowans. Volume (in broadcast hours) is a relevant and significant measure – each local program is yet another opportunity to deepen Iowa PBS’s connection with Iowans.

What was achieved: The number of broadcast hours of local programming was slightly below the performance goal.

Analysis of results: As Iowans continue to engage with Iowa PBS online in greater (and greater) numbers, Iowa PBS will need to focus more of its resources on producing digital-only content. Iowa PBS expanded the number of stand-alone digital content created and still managed to achieve 570 broadcast hours of local programming. Iowa PBS is serving both its streaming and broadcast audiences.

Factors affecting results: While the number of broadcast hours of local programming broadcast over-the-air on Iowa PBS’s four channels is significant, it does not take into consideration the number of hours of locally produced digital-only content created, and streamed on Iowa PBS’s internet platforms of distribution.

Resources used: These activities are funded with contributions made to the Iowa PBS Foundation and with state appropriations.

Emerging Media, YouTube Video Views

Description: Iowa PBS develops educational resources and programming for distribution online and through streaming devices. Iowa PBS distributes both long- and short-form content on YouTube, one of the biggest platforms for on-demand video online, including content originally intended for broadcast and digital-only content.

Why we are doing this: Our audience is constantly expanding the platforms where they watch video, and being able to watch content on demand (versus the appointment viewing of broadcast) is quickly becoming an expectation for our viewers. Learners of all ages also benefit from having access to short-form video, and we can further fulfill our mission through smaller segments available on platforms where users expect them.

What we're doing to achieve results: YouTube is one of our primary platforms for distributing on-demand video, but certainly not the only one. Where copy, image, and music rights allow, all full-length programs, clipped segments from full shows, and online only, digital short-form videos are uploaded to YouTube (among other platforms) through network and show-specific channels intended to maximize loyal subscribers. Our YouTube uploads are optimized for SEO to make them more likely to be discovered by YouTube users not subscribing to our channels.

Performance Measure: Number of YouTube video views

Performance Target: 7,000,000

Data Sources: YouTube Analytics

Results

Year YouTube Video Views
2019 7,100,000
2020 9,112,555
2021 12,598,872
2022 6,798,485
2023 5,714,240
2024 Target 5,000,000

Data reliability: The software utilized was developed to track the information reported.

Why we are using this measure: YouTube is one of our most established digital platforms for watching on demand video with us, and one of our only platforms that features both short and long form content. The particular measure we are using, video views, is the most straight-forward data we can collect for the platform that quickly showcases how our content is being received by our online audience.

What was achieved: The number of YouTube video views was over 5.7 million.

Analysis of results: FY23 results were below what we estimated they would be based on our average year-over-year growth. With our distribution and promotion efforts remaining relatively the same for this platform, we attribute the inability to meet goal this year to a lower than expected number of videos going viral/semi viral on the platform, plus a declining number of year-over-year uploads with several programs being sunset, creating several inactive YouTube accounts with declining video views as a result.

Factors affecting results: Content continues to be made available across more platforms online, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, and the PBS Video app. We see continued growth in on-demand viewing across our various platforms, and while YouTube’s growth sometimes sees some dramatic numbers due to viral content, overall the audience there is increasing as well. FY23 numbers weren’t as high as initially predicted due in part to a lack of many videos reaching “viral” status and a temporary decline in regularly produced content from local programs, which resulted in multiple YouTube channels no longer getting new content added to them.

Resources used: Emerging Media staff are funded with state appropriations and the Community Services Grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

FY 2022 Network Performance Plan Results

Core Function: Public Broadcast and Media Services

Performance Measure Performance Target Performance Actual Performance Comments & Analysis
Total Web Visits 2,000,000 3,248,829

What Occurred: Total web visits were greater than the goal.

Data Source: Google Analytics

Facebook Followers 103,000 107,957

What Occurred: The number of Facebook followers was slightly above the goal.

Data Source: Facebook Insights

Social Media Engagement 1,000,000 1,095,231

What Occurred: The number of social media engagements was above the goal.

Data Source: Facebook and Instagram Insights, Twitter Metrics

YouTube Video Views 7,000,000 5,714,240

What Occurred: The number of YouTube video views was less than the goal.

Data Source: YouTube Analytics

Monthly percent average of households in the viewing area* watching Iowa PBS (*Nielsen data for KDIN (does not include sub channels) 40% 43.83%

What Occurred: The monthly percent average of households watching Iowa PBS is greater than the goal percentage.

Data Source:Nielsen Station Index as compiled by TRAC Media between July 2022 and June 2023.

Monthly percent average of Kids 2-11* watching Iowa PBS .1 daytime programming. * Nielsen data for KDIN (does not include sub channels) 30% 31.60%

What Occurred:The monthly percent average of kids watching is greater than the goal percentage.

Data Source: Nielsen Station Index as compiled by TRAC Media between July 2022 and June 2023.

Monthly percent average of Kids 2-11* watching Iowa PBS .2 programming. 21% 7.66%

What Occurred: The monthly percent average of kids watching is less than the goal percentage.

Data Source:Nielsen Station Index as compiled by TRAC Media between July 2022 and June 2023.

Individuals and families who support Iowa PBS’ service through their membership in Friends of Iowa PBS 54,000 56,796

What Occurred: Membership was greater than the goal.

Data Source: Iowa PBS Foundation membership database

Service, Product or Activity: Programming and Production

Service, Product or Activity: Content Distribution, Delivery, and Support

Performance Measure Performance Target Performance Actual Performance Comments & Analysis
Total local production hours broadcast 700 570

What Occurred: The number of total local production hours broadcast was greater than the goal.

Data Source: Iowa PBS’s programming database.

Core Function: Education

Performance Measure Performance Target Performance Actual Performance Comments & Analysis
Percentage of time transmitters are on-air. 99% 99.79%

What Occurred: The percentage of time transmitters were on the air exceeded the goal.

Data Source: Incidence Reports

Service, Product or Activity: Educational Telecommunications

Performance Measure Performance Target Performance Actual Performance Comments & Analysis
Total Iowa users of PBS LearningMedia. 120,000 170,510

What Occurred: The total number of Iowa users of PBS LearningMedia was above the goal.

Data Source: PBS Learning Media

Core Function: Resource Management

Performance Measure Performance Target Performance Actual Performance Comments & Analysis
Number of Iowans reached through educational presentations and conferences. 15,000 5,438

What Occurred: During FY23, Iowa PBS Educational Services staff attended fewer educational conferences to focus on delivering our free STEAM resources to libraries and elementary schools across the state.

Data Source: Iowa PBS Educational Services records.

Number of childcare children reached through Iowa PBS Education programs. 5,000 5,513

What Occurred: The number of children reached through Iowa PBS Education programs was greater than the goal.

Data Source: Iowa PBS Educational Services records.

Service, Product or Activity: Public and Governmental Services

Performance Measure Performance Target Performance Actual Performance Comments & Analysis
Internal financial reports provided to appropriate managers timely on a monthly basis 98% N/A

What Occurred: This is a new measure.

Data Source: Iowa PBS financial reports provided to Iowa PBS management.

Service, Product or Activity: Administration

Performance Measure Performance Target Performance Actual Performance Comments & Analysis
Number of participants of viewer awareness and engagement initiatives to advance Iowa PBS programs and services. 70,000 84,600

What Occurred: The participant count was greater than the goal. During FY 2023, Iowa PBS hosted more screening events as new productions premiered. We also added or expanded in-person engagement opportunities across the state, including at the Iowa State Fair.

Data Source: Attendance tracking, Google Data Studio dashboard

Number of viewer awareness and engagement initiatives conducted each year to advance the use of Iowa PBS programs and services. 345 364

What Occurred: The initiative/event count was greater than the goal. During FY 2023, Iowa PBS hosted more screening events as new productions premiered. We also added or expanded in-person engagement opportunities across the state, including at the Iowa State Fair.

Data Source: Attendance tracking, Google Data Studio dashboard

Total newspaper clips in a year 900 1,002

What Occurred: The number of press clips Iowa PBS received was greater than the goal.

Data Source: Newz Group Press Clipping Service

Resource Reallocation

Iowa PBS continues to execute its ongoing network-wide strategic plan focused on fiscal best practices, competitive advantages and responding to trend analyses. Each division of Iowa PBS works to more closely align with the plan objectives as well as conduct periodic reviews to track progress. The plan has helped Iowa PBS recognize and take advantage of opportunities and reallocate resources to better position the network for the future. To date, the largest remaining strategies and tactics identified by the plan left to complete is the transition to NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) broadcasting. Iowa PBS has been working on a new strategic plan and will be finalizing the plan, which includes our Strategic Priorities, Strategic Impact Areas, and Success Measures. This plan will be utilized to formulate fiscal year goals.

Network Contacts

Copies of Iowa PBS’s Performance Report can be obtained by contacting Michelle Wendel at 515-725-9828.

Promotion block

Performance Measure Performance Target Performance Actual Performance Comments & Analysis
Number of recurring audit comments in Iowa PBS’s audited financial statements 0 0

What Occurred: There were zero audit comments in the FY 2022 audited financial statements.

Data Source: Iowa PBS financial statements audited by the Auditor of State