Jan 30, 2004
"I love the BBC and I am resigning because I want to protect it." Andrew Gilligan, the journalist whose reporting sparked a battle over the BBC's independence, resigned today.
Posted by Karen at 3:15 PM
WGBH has added Sesame Street to the portfolio of children's programs it reps for national underwriting. WGBH's Sponsorship Group for Public Television also seeks backing for Barney & Friends and Angelina Ballerina as well as the station's own Arthur, Zoom and Between the Lions.
Posted by Steve at 7:37 AM
Anne Wood, creator of Teletubbies and now Boohbah always chooses "to go with the mind of a child and what the child needs" says PBS's John Wilson in a Los Angeles Times interview. Wilson says that can lead to the "I don't get it factor" with grownups. "But all you have to do is watch it with your own child a few times and you see that they do get it."
Posted by Steve at 7:29 AM
Jan 29, 2004
As the crisis over the BBC deepened today, General Director Greg Dyke resigned. "I've sadly come to the conclusion that it will be hard to draw a line under this whole affair while I am still here," he wrote in an e-mail to staff. Media analysts cautioned that the BBC's editorial independence is in jeopardy in the Guardian.
Posted by Karen at 11:21 AM
Jan 28, 2004
A senior British judge criticized the BBC for its controversial report alleging that Prime Minister Tony Blair's government "sexed up" its intelligence dossier on Iraqi weapons. BBC Director General Greg Dyke apologized for mistakes in the radio report, and BBC Chairman Gavyn Davies resigned. Reuters reports on the fallout. The Guardian breaks it all down into digestible bits in a special report.
Posted by Karen at 5:01 PM
Jan 27, 2004
House Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) turned down the top movie industry lobbying job and is said to have a better offer from the drug industry, AP reported. Tauzin said he hasn't taken the pharmaceutical lobbying job. The Baltimore Sun editorialized that Tauzin had put himself on the auction block and should resign his chairmanship or stop handling legislation involving prospective employers.
Posted by Steve at 9:52 AM
Jan 26, 2004
Minnesota Public Radio is selling a commercial AM station and its parent company is selling a radio network, reports AP, for a combined $10 million. Larry Bentson, who donated the AM station to MPR, told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal that he's unhappy with the sale of WMNN.
Posted by Mike at 5:24 PM
Patty Wente, g.m. at KWMU-FM in St. Louis, tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch she thinks underwriting rules should be relaxed: "Are you saying you would deprive public broadcasting of keeping up with news and development [sic] because I can't use the word 'you'? Give me a break."
Posted by Mike at 4:42 PM
Jan 22, 2004
NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin introduces a CPB-funded ethics guide for public radio journalists in his Media Matters column. "Having an up-to-date ethics guide will accomplish two things at once, in my opinion: establish public radio's obligations and listener expectations," he says. [Coverage in Current.]
Posted by Mike at 6:11 PM
A Sesame Workshop project to create special programming for Arab-American children founders from lack of financial support--and mistrust of mainstream media--among Middle Eastern immigrants in Detroit. "People are leery of anything that goes on in the media, especially because of past representations of Arabs," one supporter of the project tells Salon (subscription or daypass required).
Posted by Karen at 10:55 AM
Jan 21, 2004
Senators escaped having their votes recorded with a nonexistent voice vote on the war-related $87 billion bill, so NPR's Daniel Schorr suggested that people ask them how they "voted." Fifteen members of the Society of Professional Journalists called senators and reported their findings yesterday. The bill would have passed anyway, it seems, though 19 senators refused to disclose how they would have voted.
Posted by Steve at 1:41 PM
Jan 20, 2004
Minnesota Public Radio talk show host Katherine Lanpher announced today she's leaving the network. The hunch is she's joining lefty comic Al Franken to co-host his upcoming radio talk show. Franken told Newsweek that his co-host comes from public radio: "She’s a hell of a journalist, but she’s got a great laugh." One writer previously noted Lanpher's "sudden, braying laugh."
Posted by Mike at 1:15 PM
The new PBS Kids series Boohbah may seem trippy to grown-ups, but the idea behind the show is to get preschoolers to jump off the couch and join in the calisthenics, reports AP. The Boston Globe's Suzanne Ryan found the show didn't hold much interest for her own three-year-old.
Posted by Karen at 11:30 AM
Brooke Gladstone, latest guest in Transom's online forum, reveals how she and WNYC's On the Media team rebuilt the show. Newsmags generally have had too much passion drained away, she says, and need to syncopate their too-soothing talk. OTM's dirty secret: they "edit like crazy."
Posted by Steve at 10:58 AM
Leaders of the Public Radio Partnership in Louisville, Ky., defend their decision to add more triple-A music to the schedule on one of their stations at the expense of jazz. A former board member charges PRP with eyeing the bottom line rather than serving audiences with diverse programming.
Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times spoofs "another blast of limp-wristed, angsty self-loathing" brought to him by NPR.
Posted by Mike at 10:50 AM
Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey, among Bill Gates and other tycoons, are among the 25 business leaders cited by public TV's Nightly Business Report and the University of Pennsylvania, marking the program's 25th anniversary, AP reported.
Posted by Steve at 9:51 AM
Joseph Tovares, producer of the Feb. 2 American Experience doc about the Alamo, focused on Texas pioneer Jose Antonio Navarro, though he struggled with Navarro's early involvement with slavery, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
Posted by Steve at 9:40 AM
Jan 16, 2004
An FCC official says that a completed agency report headed for Congress includes recommendations on whether LPFMs could be sited closer to full-power stations, reports Radio and Records. [Earlier coverage in Current.]
Posted by Mike at 2:19 PM
Ira Glass makes Newcity Chicago's list of "10 Chicagoans We Love to Hate," with the author railing against "that nasally, whiney, apathetic drone affected by legions of Ira Glass wannabes clearing their throat, adjusting their horn-rims, with their microphone in the other hand." (Via Romenesko.)
Posted by Mike at 1:45 PM
Jan 14, 2004
Minnesota Public Radio host Katherine Lanpher is being discussed as a "probable" co-host for comic Al Franken on a new liberal talk radio network, reports the Star Tribune. [Home page for Lanpher's MPR show.]
Posted by Mike at 9:45 AM
Jan 13, 2004
Jan 12, 2004
The Big Four commercial networks air 58 minutes of ads in primetime every night, 36 percent more than they did in 1991, MediaLife magazine reported. Their commercial breaks have gotten 41 percent longer since 1998.
Posted by Steve at 8:35 PM
"As the radio industry continues to consolidate, our responsibility to program challenging music and public affairs programs becomes that much greater," says pubradio veteran Steve Robinson in the Boston Globe, which reports on his acceptance of an ASCAP award.
Posted by Mike at 11:01 AM
Jan 11, 2004
Baltimore public radio station WYPR bought WJTM-FM in Frederick, expanding its reach toward western Maryland, Radio & Records reported. Selling the Frederick outlet for a reported $1.2 million was a religious broadcaster, Joy Public Broadcasting. Both stations broadcast at 88.1 MHz.
Posted by Steve at 12:01 PM
Jan 9, 2004
The Association of Independents in Radio Member Spotlight features sound artist and producer Aaron Ximm, Monday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. ET.
Posted by Mike at 3:14 PM
Elizabeth Campbell, founder of Washington's WETA-FM/TV, died today of a respiratory ailment, Washingtonpost.com reported. She was 101. In a 1993 Current interview she pictured herself as a do-er who "didn't have time for doubts." More about Campbell can be found at WETA's website.
Posted by Steve at 1:32 PM
Minnesota Public Radio will stop producing The Savvy Traveler March 26, according to the network. The show was unable to sell enough underwriting to support itself due to the travel industry's post-9/11 downturn. Its spotty presence in major markets also weakened its appeal to potential backers. Savvy Traveler airs on 163 stations. [Show website.]
Posted by Mike at 11:28 AM
CPB and Target Analysis Group have released the second installment of the Public Radio Quarterly Index of Fundraising Performance.
Posted by Mike at 10:26 AM
Jan 8, 2004
The Knight Foundation has given PBS $200,000 to develop a proposal for a public affairs channel, the network announced. Contrary to this AP report, however, PBS told Current that the channel probably would be a DTV multicast channel to be aired by public TV stations, not a "cable channel," as AP said. PBS President Pat Mitchell had said in June that public affairs and the arts were content options for new PBS channels. Current reported last year on the variety of multicast channels foreseen by stations.
Posted by Steve at 5:25 PM
Jan 7, 2004
Jan 6, 2004
WFPK-FM in Louisville, Ky., might alter its plans to cut back on weekday jazz programming, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. The station angered jazz fans last month when it announced the changes. The station says it's cutting jazz to make room for more triple-A programming, which it says has become increasingly popular.
Posted by Mike at 2:49 PM
StoryCorps, the latest project of independent producer David Isay, has drawn 300 people to its Grand Central Station booth for interviews since opening two months ago, reports the Chicago Tribune. Isay appeared recently on NPR's Morning Edition to share excerpts from the interviews.
Posted by Mike at 2:16 PM
Jan 5, 2004
New York Times Magazine profiles Anne Wood, creator of Teletubbies and now Boohbah, who studies videos of kids watching the programs in their homes to add to her considerable understanding of what moves 3-year-olds (not excluding flatulent sounds). Tabloids say she has made $80 million to $260 million in kidvid, largely by reserving U.S. rights for her own company (BBC reps the show elsewhere). Boohbah starts on PBS Jan. 19.
Posted by Steve at 7:01 AM