CINCINNATI (TDB) -- For WCET-TV to reach its goal, the tax-subsidized PBS outlet would have to increase its monthly Web traffic by more than 500%. Eventually, it wants to sell advertising, which would position it as a direct competitor of private, for-profit enterprises that have been paying taxes, creating content, and investing in their own online operations. Unfair advantage? The Business Courier's Dan Monk says the station had an all-time record 97,000 visitors in February, which does seem somewhat puny for a Web portal connected to a brand, PBS, that has been around for decades. Monk's column about WCET's (Channel 48) efforts to become bigger on the Web is behind a firewall, but here are a few graphs:
"Cincinnati's public television station is hoping to make its Web site a break-even enterprise by adding content and giving users a chance to customize the information they receive from www.cetconnect.org. The tricky part will be juicing the site's revenue potential while holding true to its non-commercial roots.
" . . . Channel 48 recently won a $200,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to expand its online offerings. In 2006, it was the first public TV station in the country to offer on-demand video via the Web. It now has more than 1,000 hours of video archives, most of it news and public affairs programming.
". . . The site set a record in February with 97,000 visitors. The new goal is to boost that to 500,000 by launching a new redesign next month. The site will feature audio podcasts and a registration page where CET members can customize their online experience."