Dec 30, 2004
Public TV's Frontline/World invited journalism schools to recommend young journalists for reporting fellowships on its website. Selected students and recent graduates of the schools would work with the series' website to report on international stories not covered in mainstream media. Applications from individuals will not be considered, the producers said. Fellows have already contributed many stories to the site.
Posted by Steve at 5:59 PM
The Heinz Endowments gave a second million dollars to build a Fred M. Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media at Saint Vincent College in the late PBS host's hometown of Latrobe, Pa., the college said. With the December donation, the philanthropy has given $2.1 million to the project. The state pledged $5 million in October, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Dec 24, 2004
The Italian government proposes to sell 30 percent of its big pubcaster, RAI, reports Britain’s Observer. Legislation forbids any shareholder from owning more than 1 percent. Prime Minister Berlusconi, owner of RAI’s major competition, has no interest in seeing RAI become a strong commercial broadcaster, and neither do his political opponents, says the Observer. The Italian Antitrust Authority criticizes the powerful advertising duopoly composed of Berlusconi’s holdings, with 65 percent of TV advertising, and RAI, with 29 percent, according to the International Herald Tribune.
Dec 21, 2004
Longtime TV correspondent Ed Gordon will start a show replacing Tavis Smiley's on public radio, said NPR and the African American Public Radio Consortium today. Gordon has reported for NBC and was recently named a contributing correspondent for CBS's 60 Minutes Wednesday. Smiley left NPR Dec. 16.
Posted by Steve at 5:13 PM
Garrison Keillor has promised to deliver "a quiet and thoughtful Lutheran pastor" plus the "entire Prairie Home Companion complement" on a one-week circular Holland America Line cruise from Boston to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Bar Harbor, Maine, starting Aug. 20. Cheaper cabins are sold out already. Some remain at $2,350 to $3,800 per person, double occupancy. Public TV stations helped sell cabins on a November cruise of the Mediterranean starring Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer and other PBS figures.
Posted by Steve at 1:46 PM
Dec 17, 2004
The Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday endorsed a report that calls for Iowa's three university-based radio stations, WOI, WSUI/KSUI and KUNI/KHKE, to merge into a network called Iowa Public Radio, the Des Moines Register reports. The move is expected to generate more listeners, extend coverage and reduce the amount of state support for the stations by $300,000.
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 1:06 PM
More Tavis: The now ex-NPR host tells Salon in a Q-and-A that the network is "not National Some-of-the Public Radio, it's National All-of-the-Public Radio. And NPR has got to do a better job of making that moniker... a reality." Smiley says his show's numbers outpaced projections, refuting researcher claims that the audience only wants to hear, as the webmag puts it, "the dulcet tones of Linda Wertheimer sound-alikes who've come to define public radio." (free day pass req.)
Have you heard? Bill Moyers will make his final appearance as host of PBS's Now tonight. Today's litany of Bye to Bill stories includes pieces from, among others, the New York Times, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News, who also printed a speech Moyers recently gave at Harvard Medical School. For a different take on the Moyers legend, check out this profile on conservative website FrontPageMag.com, which describes the esteemed journalist as a "sweater-wearing pundit who delivered socialist and neo-Marxist propaganda with a soft Texas accent."
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 10:36 AM
Dec 16, 2004
Minnesota Public Radio programmers described their new format for their just-acquired third Twin Cities station as an "anti-format" for younger ears that will gather eclectic music and "take the work out of finding music and put the fun back in," Deborah Rybak reported in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. MPR bought the channel, WCAL, from St. Olaf College over the objections of WCAL's classical music fans. Some spoke against the station sale at an FCC hearing on media consolidation in St. Paul last week. With money from the sale, the college said it will endow five chairs and repair the organ in its chapel.
Posted by Steve at 7:19 PM
"Nothing is pushing me, but something is pulling me, and I don't know what that is." Bill Moyers, who delivers his last edition of Now tomorrow night, may have one more PBS series up his sleeve, reports the New York Daily News.
Posted by Karen at 3:30 PM
Jim King, founder of the Cincinnati-based X-Star public radio network, will retire next year. "We've done what no one else said could be done," he tells the Cincinnati Enquirer. ". . . We've bucked the trend and programmed a station the way we wanted to, changing the types of programming every three or four hours."
Posted by Mike at 1:40 PM
Dec 15, 2004
"The real key is you want to get them up and moving but you don't want them to turn their heads from the TV." Newsday reports on kids' shows that encourage tots to get off the couch.
Posted by Karen at 11:53 AM
Dec 14, 2004
Dec 13, 2004
Dec 10, 2004
"When they start pushing the panic button over 'moral values' at the bluest of TV channels, public broadcasting's WNET, in the bluest of cities, New York, you know this country has entered a new cultural twilight zone," writes New York Times columnist Frank Rich. WNET's decision to kill a spot on the feature film, Kinsey, is a harbinger of the battles ahead as "politicians and the media alike pander to that supposed 22 percent of 'moral values' voters."
Posted by Karen at 3:09 PM
Dec 8, 2004
"I believe the price of this very considerable change is the right price to pay to achieve the prize of a strong and independent, creative BBC," said Director General Michael Thompson when announcing a 10 percent staff reduction, the largest in the corporation's history. With savings from the massive reorganization, Thompson promised BBC would spend more on high quality drama, comedy, current affairs and children's programs, according to the Guardian. Reports on the restructuring characterize it as a premptive move to protect BBC financing via television license fees, which comes up for renewal in 2007. In the Financial Times, Thompson said the plan made the case for a renewal of its royal charter more compelling and added: “The BBC has not been badgered or pressured by government to do any of this.” [Additional reporting in the New York Times, and a Q&A from BBC News.]
Posted by Karen at 10:10 AM
Dec 7, 2004
A consultant's study (PDF) recommends that stations licensed to three Iowa universities unite under common management, share resources, and develop three separate and coordinated programming schedules. The board's office has endorsed the findings (PDF). Regents will take up the matter next week.
Posted by Mike at 4:15 PM
Dec 6, 2004
The FCC got only a few hundred indecency complaints in 2001, but about 14,000 in 2002 and no less than 240,000 in 2003, just before its Janet Jackson crackdown. Today, Todd Shields of MediaWeek revealed an unreleased FCC estimate that 99.8 percent of the 2003 complaints came from one organization, Parents Television Council. The same was true for 99.8 percent of complaints in 2004, through October. Via SPJ PressNotes. PTC, founded by conservative media watchdog Brent Bozell, monitors and compiles reports on sex, innuendo and violence on broadcast and cable networks, according to its website.
Posted by Steve at 5:20 PM
Dec 5, 2004
Edie McClurg, perhaps best known for the role of the principal's secretary in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, was "Operations Manager, News Anchor, Documentary and Fine Arts Producer for NPR affiliate KCUR-FM and National Public Radio 1966-1974," according to the Internet Movie Database.
Posted by Mike at 8:21 AM
Dec 3, 2004
The Rev. Irene Elizabeth Stroud, a former assistant pastor at First United Methodist Church in Germantown, Pa., was expelled from the clergy after a jury of Methodist ministers convicted her of breaking church law by living openly as a lesbian, the Washington Post reports. Stroud's "coming out" sermon and legal struggle were captured by The Congregation, a doc by Alan and Susan Raymond scheduled to air on PBS on Dec. 29.
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 11:17 AM
Dec 2, 2004
Dec 1, 2004
Rachel Buchman, a reporter at Philadelphia's WHYY, resigned earlier this week after leaving a seething voice mail at the offices of Laptoplobbyist.com, a Virginia-based conservative website. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the group circulated Buchman's message, which advised the org's members that "God hates you and He wants to kill your children... You should all burn in hell," via e-mail after it learned that she worked at WHYY. "It was a personal matter that was turned into a public issue," Buchman said. "Rather than call my journalistic integrity into question, I decided to resign for personal reasons." (registration req., via Romenesko)
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 1:45 PM
The Supreme Court has denied the American Family Association's request for a review of a lower-court decision that upheld the FCC's point system. (PDF, p. 4, see "04-539.") AFA had argued that the point system, which settles competing applications from noncommercial broadcasters for frequencies, unfairly favored pubcasters over religious broadcasters.
Posted by Mike at 10:10 AM
Nov 30, 2004
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Nov 19, 2004
FCC FM Auction 37 rolls on, and Boston's WGBH has the high bid of nearly $4 million on a channel in Brewster, Mass. Most other pubcasters have been knocked out of the bidding. Meanwhile, at least two pubcasters — WKGC in Panama City, Fla., and Unalaska Community Broadcasting in Unalaska, Alaska — are likely to get AM stations in FCC AM Auction 84. Forms are due Jan. 18.
Posted by Mike at 1:22 PM
Radio for Milwaukee, a nonprofit, is expected to get approval from Milwaukee's school board to manage the school system's noncommercial FM station, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Nov 18, 2004
Blogger Michael Petrelis learned that NPR news staffers Corey Flintoff and Michelle Trudeau donated to the campaigns of John Kerry and Howard Dean, violating NPR's ethics codes. In a response to Petrelis, NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin addressed the issue in his latest online column, and the Chicago Reader takes it up as well. Meanwhile, NPR reporter Eric Weiner writes in the Christian Science Monitor that Palestinians should practice nonviolence. Other NPR reporters have previously sounded off on current events, raising questions about proper ethical conduct.
Posted by Mike at 4:20 PM
Bob Edwards tells the Boston Globe that he threatened to sue NPR over the network's suggestions that he was booted from Morning Edition because he declined to have a co-host. In fact, Edwards says, he was never offered the option. Newly installed at XM Radio, Edwards will visit Boston's WBUR tonight in celebration of Morning Edition's 25th anniversary.
Nov 17, 2004
"She’s not a lifestyle liberal," says PBS host Tucker Carlson of Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, who appeared on his show Friday. "She’s actually interested in reordering society. . . . I thought she was a good guest." Goodman, for her part, says she's "concerned about a right-wing takeover at PBS." Meanwhile, Barbara Streisand, or an electronic facsimile thereof, has plugged Democracy Now on her website.
Posted by Mike at 5:43 PM
The BBC said it replaced the late Alistair Cooke's Friday night Letter from America (at least temporarily) with A View from reports by correspondents in America, Australia, China, Brazil, South Africa, India and the Caribbean. The U.S. voice is Tim Egan, a New York Times reporter in Seattle. David Stewart describes Cooke's longtime weekly Letter.
Posted by Steve at 1:17 PM
Nov 16, 2004
Nov 15, 2004
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Nov 11, 2004
Doug Bennet, president of Wesleyan University and a former president of NPR, has suggested that his school's freeform radio station simulcast a Fairfield NPR station during the day, reports the Hartford Courant. Students are protesting the idea and have presented their own proposal (Word document). (Read the university's press release.)
Nov 10, 2004
NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin looks at the network's decision to remove All Things Considered host Michele Norris from recent political stories because her husband was an adviser to John Kerry's campaign. ". . . I worry that news organizations will in effect censor their own journalists because of what their partners and spouses do. It is dangerous because it infers that journalists are incapable of good journalism because of what their spouses and partners believe," he writes. (Via Romenesko.)
Posted by Mike at 2:19 PM
Nov 9, 2004
Pacifica has hired Roy Campanella II as g.m. of KPFA in Berkeley, Calif. The Internet Movie Database details Campanella's television career, which includes directing Baywatch, Knight Rider and Boston Public. Meanwhile, Pacifica announced the weekly audience of its five stations recently topped 1 million for the first time in the network's history.
Posted by Mike at 4:32 PM
Nov 8, 2004
Nov 5, 2004
NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin raises questions about the ties between the network's Day to Day and Slate in light of the Microsoft-owned mag's announcement that most of its staffers would vote for John Kerry. As Day to Day also noted, Slate joined other media outlets and bloggers in sharing exit-poll data on Election Day that at first favored Kerry to win. The Poynter Institute's Steve Outing and Online Journalism Review's Mark Glaser look at the use of these polls.
Posted by Mike at 1:20 PM
FCC Auction 37 began Nov. 3. You can follow it at this FCC site (follow the link to "Bidding System and Results"—the page can't be linked to directly). Earlier articles in Radio World summarized the bidding process and presented a nice map that shows where the frequencies at stake are located.
Nov 4, 2004
Nov 3, 2004
Nov 2, 2004
This winter, director Robert Altman will begin shooting a film version of A Prairie Home Companion, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. (Reg. req.) More in the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post (fourth item), the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (also, an interview with Altman), and the Associated Press.
Nov 1, 2004
Oct 27, 2004
BBC Radio disc jockey John Peel, champion of many cutting edge rock acts that went on to notoriety and influence, died at age 65. He was "perhaps the only British D.J. known by name to American rock fans," writes the New York Times. For all his influence, Peel was surprisingly accessible, reports the Washington Post: "[B]asically, if you wrote him, he'd send you a postcard back, often with his phone number, sometimes 'signed' with a rubber stamp that read 'John Peel, The World's Most Boring Man.'
Posted by Karen at 10:09 AM
Oct 26, 2004
Roadside sensors are now providing radio ratings for passing drivers in Washington, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Jersey, and Charlotte, N.C., the Washington Post reported [registration required]. The provider, Phoenix-based MobilTrak, derives listener data from tuning and sells results to retailers near the same roads, to billboard companies [earlier NYT article], as well as to radio stations.
Oct 25, 2004
Oct 21, 2004
Tucker Carlson is apparently spoiling for a rematch with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart after Friday's much-publicized live spat on CNN's Crossfire. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the bow tied commentator has invited the fake newsman to appear on this Friday's Unfiltered on PBS. "I have a low opinion of the things Jon said, but I'd like to give him a chance to explain it in an environment where he can talk," Carlson said. No word from Stewart. Comedy Central execs, who said the network has received 12 times the usual amount of e-mail this week as a result of the face-off, doubt Stewart will accept the offer. (Reg. required)
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 11:09 AM
Oct 20, 2004
PBS and Sesame Workshop share a 30 percent stake in the new digital children's channel announced today with Comcast and Hit Entertainment, according to the Guardian. The Times reports on why Rob Lawes, the Hit Entertainment chief who forged the partnership, is now leaving the company. Current reported this spring on negotiations to create the channel.
Oct 19, 2004
The Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes reports from ringside on the Crossfire slap-down. Part One: Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and PBS's Tucker Carlson call each other colorful names you'll only hear on cable TV. Part Two: Robert Novak and James Carville call Stewart "uninformed" and worse on Monday's Crossfire, and Stewart retorts from The Daily Show.
Patrick Goldstein of the L.A. Times says Bill Moyers, who leaves his PBS show at the end of December, "has used Now as a razor-sharp scythe for laying bare issues rarely scrutinized by his media peers." Moyers is quoted about the new PBS talk shows hosted by conservatives: "In my 33 years at public broadcasting, it's the first time I've seen shows that were clearly created for ideological reasons." (Open only to registered seven-day Times subscribers or Calendar Live subscribers.)
Posted by Steve at 10:18 AM
"Nearly as splashy, flashy and phantasmagorical as the American art form it celebrates, Broadway: The American Musical is the TV equivalent of a grandly panoramic coffee-table book." Washington Post critic Tom Shales reviews the six-part mini-series debuting tonight on PBS.
Posted by Karen at 10:16 AM
Oct 18, 2004
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Frontline's "The Choice 2004" debuts on PBS stations Oct. 12. Reviewers for the New York Times and the Seattle Times write in today's editions that, by contrasting the presidential candidates' military service during the Vietnam War, the two-hour documentary casts Senator Kerry in a more favorable light.
Posted by Karen at 1:13 PM
Oct 8, 2004
Tonight Cleveland's WVIZ launches a new local series covering topics that viewers in Northeastern Ohio are most concerned about--education, the economy, jobs, among other issues. "I can envision people talking about it at work the next day," host Rick Jackson tells the Plain-Dealer. Producers used results from a three-year audience research project to shape the show's content and format.
Oct 7, 2004
Boston Phoenix media critic Dan Kennedy explores WBUR's controversial sale of two AM frequencies in Rhode Island and other allegations of management misconduct, asserting that "There’s plenty of smoke, but it’s too early to say whether there’s any fire." (via mediabistro.com)
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 11:02 AM
Oct 6, 2004
WTTW plans to adapt its hit restaurant review series for other major market stations, according to Crain's Chicago Business.
Oct 5, 2004
Bob Edwards, making the media rounds to plug the launch of his new show on XM Radio, tells the New York Times he's excited about his new gig even though "you wouldn't think, at 57, you could get excited about much of anything." In a Q-and-A with media website mediabistro.com, Edwards describes XM's plan for his show as "Let Bob be Bob." "So for better or worse," he says, "that's what you'll get."
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 10:58 AM
Oct 2, 2004
Boston University is investigating charges of nepotism and financial mismanagement leveled anonymously against WBUR-FM, reports the Boston Herald. (More in the Boston Globe.)
Posted by Mike at 1:28 PM
Oct 1, 2004
Sep 30, 2004
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Sep 27, 2004
WBUR-FM in Boston ran up deficits of almost $5 million from 1999 to 2003, reports the Providence Journal. The Journal also reports that Rhode Island's attorney general has asked WBUR for more financial information related to the possible sale of WRNI in Providence, and the state's Governor is concerned as well. (More in the Boston Globe.)
Posted by Mike at 5:27 PM
Sep 23, 2004
Longtime backers of Rhode Island's WRNI-FM are considering ways to keep the station public, reports the Providence Journal. The Journal also reports that WRNI's deficits topped $9 million in its first five years. And the Boston Phoenix calls on WBUR to be more open about its finances. The Phoenix's Dan Kennedy asks a few more questions on his blog.
Sep 22, 2004
Sep 21, 2004
Sep 20, 2004
Boston's WBUR-FM is selling WRNI, its Rhode Island station. The Providence Journal condemns the decision: "The people who have been so generous in funding the start-up and operation of WRNI have been treated shabbily." (More in the Journal, the Providence Phoenix and the Boston Herald.)
Posted by Mike at 11:33 AM
Sep 17, 2004
In a Sept. 11 address to the Society of Professional Journalists, Bill Moyers looks back on his career and affirms the importance of journalism. "I approach the end of my own long run believing more strongly than ever that the quality of journalism and the quality of democracy are inextricably joined," he says.
Posted by Mike at 6:35 PM
Sep 16, 2004
Sep 15, 2004
Sep 14, 2004
NPR and PBS host Tavis Smiley gave $1 million to Houston's Texas Southern University to support a communications school named after him, reports the Houston Chronicle. (More in USA Today. Via Romenesko.)
Sep 13, 2004
Sep 9, 2004
WTVS President Steve Antonniotti disputes an unflattering analysis of efficiencies in public TV fundraising. The analysis by Forbes (page down) juxtaposes compensation for the highest paid pubTV station chiefs with stats measuring the fundraising efficiencies of charitable organizations. (Registration required at Forbes.com)
Posted by Karen at 10:03 AM
Sep 8, 2004
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The anti-Kerry Swift Boat smear was "dishonest in the extreme," writes journalism observer Jay Rosen, but the mainstream press is stunned to find that investigative stories on the campaign failed to "knock down" the accusations and stop replication of the "media virus" that may decide the presidential election.
Posted by Steve at 11:18 AM
With mainstream media folks tut-tutting about Fox and bloggers bringing viewpoint into news reporting, Poynter Institute's Geneva Overholser, herself a mainstream journalist and former ombudsman, points out: "Traditional media have a viewpoint. It's a good old conventional, "acceptable," middle-of-the-road viewpoint. It's the viewpoint, generally speaking, of the powerful -- which is by and large, even today, the view of well-to-do male white folks."
Posted by Steve at 7:38 AM
Sep 1, 2004
CPB has brought back Peggy O'Brien as senior v.p., educational programming and services. In 1994-2000, she headed CPB's earliest Ready to Learn efforts and served as v.p. of education. Cheryl Williams, now v.p., will report to her. She comes from Cable in the Classroom, where she was executive director.
Posted by Steve at 12:24 PM
Aug 31, 2004
Members of Azerbaijan's parliament and its national TV and radio council left last week to study public TV in the United States, Baku Today reported. The tour, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, will stop in D.C., Ohio, Texas and New York.
Posted by Steve at 9:47 AM
Aug 30, 2004
Clear Channel is distributing programming from liberal network Air America in five cities, reports the New York Times. Though public radio could lose listeners to the format, San Diego public station KPBS-FM has sold underwriting to Clear Channel as it advertises the change. Also in the Times, more coverage of KGNU-FM's purchase of a station in Denver.
Posted by Mike at 12:52 PM
In the Boston Globe's take on PBS's Friday-night pundit zone, hard-core lefties and righties alike accuse pubTV of kissing up to Congress. PBS still speaks only of "diversity."
Posted by Steve at 9:43 AM
Aug 27, 2004
CorpWatch.org reports the commercial TV networks have reduced convention coverage to about 18 hours this year, about 10 percent of its total in 1972, while the TV industry has increased its take of political ads by 40-fold during the same period to about $1 billion.
Posted by Steve at 1:48 PM
Aug 26, 2004
Retired PBS newsman Robert MacNeil discusses the sanguinary political landscape in today's San Franciso Chronicle, claiming, "Democrats want to see more blood flow from the arrows of journalists and Republicans want more red meat out there going after Democrats." MacNeil also derides the Fox News Channel and wonders if journalism is returning to its partisan roots. (via mediabistro.com)
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 10:39 AM
Beat reporters can be "secret weapons" for online news sites when they prepare FAQs, primers and other nondeadline pieces that web users would love, writes Dan Froomkin in the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review. He's talking about newspaper reporters, but the same could be said about people on the beat for pubradio.
Posted by Steve at 10:19 AM
Aug 25, 2004
David Lieberman reports in USA Today the view of Wall Street analyst Tom Wolzien: cable networks won't take much more audience from broadcasters unless cable spends heavily for more attractive programs. Cable nets already increased spending 30 percent in three years, but Wolzien says growing cable carriage and not programs explain cable's growth.
Posted by Steve at 12:06 PM
Aug 24, 2004
North Dakota's Prairie Public Television lost its transmitter near Devil's Lake in an ice storm last May and hopes to restore it by spring 2005, the Grand Forks Herald reports. The capital cost to restore service to 9,000 people: $2 million.
Posted by Steve at 9:05 AM
Aug 23, 2004
Responding to a listener's gripe, NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin supports reporting results from Olympic competitions as they come in. NPR reporter Howard Berkes concurs in a Poynter Online interview: "Holding the news to meet the scheduling preferences of rights-holding broadcasters does a disservice to listeners."
Posted by Mike at 11:02 AM
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette examines the growth of WYEP-FM and the related tensions between funky eclecticism and buttoned-up professionalism.
Posted by Mike at 10:52 AM
Aug 22, 2004
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Aug 16, 2004
Wal-Mart is salving its public-relations wounds by buying underwriting credits on KCET (The Tavis Smiley Show) in addition to NPR, which has been running blurbs for the big retailer since February, reports the New York Times (as reprinted in the Wilmington, N.C., Star-News).
Posted by Steve at 12:41 PM
Aug 13, 2004
Staff and volunteers at KPFA-FM in Berkeley, Calif., are accusing the station's recently elected Local Station Board of micromanagment and unmerited attacks on staff. (Related Berkeley Daily Planet article.) In a letter to listeners, Interim General Manager Jim Bennett warns that "[t]he progressive politics that are sometimes put forward on the air will not flourish in a repressive mode of trying to get certain agendas rammed through." Pacifica's bylaws, enacted last year, provided for the creation and election of LSBs. Meanwhile, Pacifica pointed out that three of its stations have weekly cumulative audiences that put them among the top 30 in the country.
Posted by Mike at 5:44 PM
Aug 11, 2004
This article in the San Francisco Bay Guardian explores KALW's FCC troubles and wonders why the city's commercial stations aren't being held to the same standard. The story, titled "Squashing David, ignoring Goliath," quotes FCC commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, who said they are "troubled by the message we send when we send small, independent stations to hearings but give a pass to stations owned by larger media companies for troubling allegations."
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 12:56 PM
The school board in Austin, Minn., approved transfer of public TV station KSMQ to a new community nonprofit, the Austin Daily Herald reported. Consultant Don Thigpen, former head of WCEU in Daytona Beach, Fla., is acting manager.
Posted by Steve at 9:26 AM
St. Olaf's College will sell WCAL to Minnesota Public Radio for $10.5 milliion, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The college founded an AM precursor to the FM classical music station more than 80 years ago. Last year the station had member revenues of $860,000 and aid of $130,000 from the college, but the college discontinued its assistance this year, according to the Twin Cities Business Journal.
Posted by Steve at 7:55 AM
Aug 10, 2004
Aug 6, 2004
The Wall Street Journal will produce a new Friday-night roundtable, Journal Editorial Report, for PBS starting Sept. 17, WNET announced. The show has major funding from CPB and will feature members of the paper's famously conservative editorial board. They won't be "lapdogs" for the Bush administration, WNET's Stephen Segaller told the Hollywood Reporter.
Posted by Steve at 7:58 AM
Martha Stewart Living will offer public TV stations a new half-hour program sharing the name of its Everyday Food magazine, WETA announced this week. Stewart's company, struggling to reestablish itself with its founder going to jail, lost $19 million in the second quarter, according to TheStreet.com.
Aug 3, 2004
Bob Wright, NBC Universal c.e.o. and now talent spotter, answered an indie dream by picking a documentary on capital punishment out of the Sundance Festival lineup and buying it for network broadcast, the New York Times reported. "Deadline" aired July 30 on NBC's Dateline. Kirsten Johnson, co-director and cinematographer for the doc, has run camera for several PBS programs.
Posted by Steve at 6:49 PM
Jul 29, 2004
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Lehrer tells Brokaw, Jennings and Rather: "You guys are a hell of a lot more important than your bosses are willing to admit." During a seminar yesterday on political reporting, Lehrer scolded the big networks for sparse primetime coverage of the party conventions. PBS's senior newsman elaborates on Poynter Online: "Journalism organizations that say the conventions are not important are essentially saying the election of a president is not important."
Posted by Karen at 10:15 AM
Jul 23, 2004
Microsoft is considering selling Slate, its online magazine, according to the Washington Post and New York Times. NPR partners with Slate to produce Day to Day, its midday newsmag.
Posted by Mike at 4:39 PM
Jul 22, 2004
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved today a bill that would allow for more low-power FM stations.
Jul 21, 2004
Contrary to reports in August's Vanity Fair, Bob Edwards is not shrinking. A miscommunication led the glossy monthly to list the 6'4 Edwards as 5'7. The Washington Post's Richard Leiby reports that NPR alerted him to the gaffe in an e-mail with the subject "Bob Edwards is not a midget."
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 8:28 AM
Jul 20, 2004
In a content analysis of WTTW's flagship series Chicago Tonight, the activist group Chicago Media Action determined that more than half of the stories broadcast over three months dealt with sports and entertainment and that guests and commentators were predominantly white males.
Posted by Karen at 10:14 AM
Jul 19, 2004
Democracy Now host Amy Goodman in Clamor Magazine, addressing the media's reporting on the Iraq War: "And now that we know they got it wrong — and they know it — they’re still bringing on the same people, asking how did we get it wrong? What about letting someone who didn’t get it wrong speak?"
Posted by Mike at 9:49 AM
Jul 16, 2004
Jul 15, 2004
Jul 14, 2004
Susan Clampitt, former g.m. of WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C., has filed a $12 million lawsuit against American University over her dismissal, reports the Washington Times (second item). Clampitt came under fire for alleged problems of overspending and low morale at the station, as Current reported last year.
Posted by Mike at 6:16 PM
Jul 13, 2004
Tim Goodman, the TV critic who described PBS as the "worst-run media company in the world," reflects on what it's like to meet face-to-face with the media executives he lambasts in the San Francisco Chronicle. (PBS responded to Goodman's "vitriol" in a letter to the editor published in May.)
Posted by Karen at 11:56 AM
Jul 12, 2004
The Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes pokes fun at PBS President Pat Mitchell's explanation of why Tucker Carlson deserves a show on PBS (scroll down). But other TV critics loved it when Carlson, appearing at the TCA summer press tour, ripped Fox's Bill O'Reilly. "Tucker Carlson is funny, disarming, charming even," opines a critic for the Times-Picayune.
Posted by Karen at 1:18 PM
"Having now been bleeped, I can only say that it doesn't feel very good. It feels kind of dirty." Richard Dreyfuss, star of a new PBS police drama that was edited for naughty words, lambasted the FCC's crackdown on broadcast indecency and its chilling effects on speech and creativity. The San Francisco Chronicle's Tim Goodman reports on the controversy and why PBS is in no position to challenge the FCC.
Posted by Karen at 12:41 PM
Jul 8, 2004
Jul 7, 2004
Jun 30, 2004
NPR's Bob Edwards has received about 20 job offers in radio, TV and academia since March, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. "I'm listening," he says.
Other print media have failed to make the transition to TV, but a report published in the San Jose Mercury News about the New York Times's TV venture with Discovery Communications says the cable channel has a distinct Timesness.
Posted by Steve at 9:22 AM
The Washington Post reports on Discovery Communications' new business delivering streamed video to classrooms. "The long-term hope is that as households become better wired, we can provide a digital library," says Donald Baer, senior executive of strategy. "Once we deliver in the education field, Discovery will be the brand you can trust and bring into the home."
Posted by Karen at 9:19 AM
Jun 29, 2004
Jun 24, 2004
NPR ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin addresses listener queries about the influence of fundraising concerns on the network's editorial decisions in this column on NPR.org. Though he writes that there is a growing concern about the issue "both outside and inside NPR," Dvorkin concludes that "it would take more than a few Wal-Mart underwriting messages" to corrupt the network's journalistic integrity. (via Romenesko)
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 2:01 PM
Jun 23, 2004
"If you can make it through this show without crying, consider yourself a stoic." The Boston Globe reviews Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues, an American Masters documentary debuting tonight on PBS.
Around Town, WETA-TV's last regularly scheduled local series, is being reformatted into interstitial spots, reports the Washington Post. Television V.P. Kevin Harris, who decided to end the show's 18-year run as a weekly, aims to reach more viewers by sprinkling segments on local arts and culture into primetime program breaks. "We think it's changing into a really dynamic format," Harris told the Post.
Posted by Karen at 10:24 AM
Jun 21, 2004
Jun 18, 2004
Jun 17, 2004
Jun 16, 2004
Jun 15, 2004
KVCR-FM in San Bernardino, Calif., may drop A Prairie Home Companion, reports the San Bernardino County Sun. Larry Ciecalone, g.m. of KVCR, tells Current that a new affiliation fee from Minnesota Public Radio has prompted the decision. The crunch also led to program cuts at WRVO-FM in Oswego, N.Y.
Jun 11, 2004
Jun 10, 2004
The big religious broadcaster Daystar Television has bought its second public TV station in recent months -- WTBU in Indianapolis, sold by Butler University for $4 million, local TV station WRTV reported June 9. The university explained earlier why it was cashing in. Last summer, KERA in Dallas sold one of its two channels to Daystar for $20 million. Daystar is also suing an Orange County college to buy public TV station KOCE. The network says it owns and operates more than 30 stations.
Posted by Steve at 12:00 PM
Jun 9, 2004
Jun 7, 2004
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a bill Friday that would allow more low-power FM stations to get on the air. (PDF of bill.) Their effort follows an FCC-commissioned study that recommended relaxing interference protections on full-power stations. (More in the Washington Post.)
Posted by Mike at 12:15 PM
The war in Iraq--especially the Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal--have eclipsed Bono and Janet Jackson, the New York Times reports. This article says indecency legislation crafted this spring is increasingly unlikely to reach President Bush's desk before the November election. The story claims politicians "who push too hard on the decency issue may risk appearing to have their priorities out of whack." Also: Broadcasting & Cable reports that an upcoming episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will "explore the rights of those who express their views over public airwaves." The show will hinge on the alleged offenses of a Howard Stern stand-in.
Jun 4, 2004
Rising program costs have prompted WRVO-FM in Oswego, N.Y., to drop some PRI shows and consider axing The Splendid Table, reports the Syracuse Post-Standard. MPR will soon distribute its own shows, which costs stations that air its programming an additional affiliation fee.
Posted by Mike at 12:43 PM