Mar 31, 2004
CPB's latest figures for public TV and radio's total revenues, for fiscal year 2002, show the total continuing to rise to $2.28 billion. But public TV's number of members continued to fall, 1 million in nine years, 260,000 in a year.
Posted by Steve at 7:22 PM
Public TV won eight Peabody Awards and public radio three, the University of Georgia announced today. Bill Moyers and Jay Allison's Transom.org received awards. WGBH won three and P.O.V., two.
Posted by Steve at 6:35 PM
Mar 30, 2004
"It was Alistair Cooke's idiosyncratic mix of the momentous and the everyday that captivated his British audience and turned his Letter from America into an institution," wrote Karen McVeigh in The Scotsman after the BBC journalist died today. Cooke was 95 and had ceased his weekly BBC Letter from America in February.
Posted by Steve at 7:18 PM
While some execs at public radio stations support NPR's decision to find a new Morning Edition host, they are critical of the network's handling of the change, reports the New York Times (reg. req.) "There's a universal sense that this has been managed poorly," says one. The Los Angeles Times reports that Bob Edwards' resistance to having a co-host might have contributed to his fate.
Posted by Mike at 11:04 AM
Mar 29, 2004
Brian Lehrer, talk host at New York's WNYC, explains in Newsday why he chose to interview Jayson Blair: "I felt that a public purpose had been served by having Blair on. Unfortunately, it was served mostly by watching a man further sink his reputation, with his words and demeanor." (Via Romenesko.)
Posted by Mike at 2:21 PM
Linda Ellerbee views Edwards' reassignment as a dis to boomers. A writer to the Washington Post also cites the "specter of ageism." More: former Rewind host Bill Radke in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and editorials in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the St. Petersburg Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Washington Post.
Posted by Mike at 2:04 PM
Mar 26, 2004
In an online poll, 84 percent of 1,300 Seattle Times readers favor keeping Bob Edwards at the Morning Edition microphone; though he is actually a young stud, one calls him "fatherly" and another compares him to Walter Cronkite. In USA Today, CBS News star Charles Osgood says of Edwards: "If it were me, I'd have him do it forever. Every time I hear him, I think how terrific he is." SaveBobEdwards.com, established March 24, suggests sending protest e-mails to NPR exec Jay Kernis. More than 1,400 people protest Edwards' reassignment at Petitiononline.com.
Posted by Steve at 8:19 PM
Newspapers are finding public TV producers at work all over: investigating an old bayonet in Carlisle, Pa., for History Detectives, shooting historical sites in Boston for American Experience, documenting reading problems in El Paso for Children of the Code: The Code and the Challenge of Learning to Read It.
Posted by Steve at 8:08 PM
Jefferson Public Radio may take on management of its second old movie palace in the northern-California / southern Oregon region: the Loew's State in Eureka, Calif., according to the Eureka Reporter. JPR already runs the Cascade in Redding, Calif.
Posted by Steve at 7:52 PM
Mar 24, 2004
More on bye-bye, Bob: The demoted host tells the Washington Post that NPR programming veep Jay Kernis had said he wanted someone else in the job and speculates Kernis was "tired" of listening to him. In USA Today, Ken Stern, NPR's executive v.p., says the decision was about "needs for years to come." The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) grills Stern and concludes, "The demotion sounds like the kind of dumb move you might expect from commercial broadcasting, where change is often made because somebody in charge wants to make his mark." MetaFilter readers decry the decision: "There are some things you just don't mess with." (More in the Boston Globe and the New York Times.)
Posted by Mike at 5:04 PM
Just as the Sandra Tsing Loh flap seemed to be winding up, KCRW has released a letter Loh wrote the station the day her show was canceled. "The discrepancy between the content and tone of this letter and the subsequent attacks on KCRW has yet to be explained," says Ruth Seymour, KCRW's g.m. Loh tells the L.A. Times that the statement "underscores, on a personal level, how frightening it is for individuals to take Ruth Seymour on for battle" (reg. req.). And Catherine Seipp recaps the fracas for the National Review Online.
Posted by Mike at 4:51 PM
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is expected to become chair of the FCC-overseeing Commerce Committee, but the present chairman, John McCain (R-Ariz.), may keep the communications subcommittee, Roll Call reports. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) would have to take his chair elsewhere.
Posted by Steve at 2:09 PM
Some lovers of classical music dislike Mississippi Public Broadcasting's recent decision to dump some classical in favor of news and jazz, reports the Clarion-Ledger. "Public radio is designed to provide us with something you can't get on commercial stations," says a listener.
Posted by Mike at 11:30 AM
Mar 23, 2004
Bob Edwards will leave Morning Edition April 30 to become a senior correspondent for NPR. He tells the Washington Post he would have preferred to stay with the show: "One day you change flavors at Baskin Robbins. I think that's what this is." Edwards discussed his job in a 1998 Current Q&A.
Posted by Mike at 3:45 PM
WETA President Sharon Rockefeller and doc film auteurs D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus will be honored April 22 by CINE, the filmmakers' organization announced.
Posted by Steve at 12:18 PM
Mar 22, 2004
Since CBS aired Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain show in 1967 "no one, not even public television, has put the performance on the air," Bill Moyers observed during an interview with Holbrook aired on Now March 19. PBS, like other broadcasters, balked at the word "nigger," from Huckleberry Finn excerpts. Holbrook said: "Well, when you get into corporate decision-making, especially in these days of political correctness, you are in jail." Alan Foster told the story last fall in Current.
Posted by Steve at 4:00 PM
NPR hired William K. Marimow as an additional managing editor, a new position. Marimow edited the Baltimore Sun until January, when the paper's publisher fired him, telling the Washington Post that "our partnership was not where I wanted it to be." (Latter article via Romenesko.)
Posted by Mike at 3:22 PM
James Randi, the magician and debunker of paranormal hoaxes, observes on his website that public TV stations "are featuring both Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dr. Gary Null, to take advantage of the public's taste for quackery." (Scroll down to the photo of Null's book "Healing with Magnets.")
Posted by Steve at 12:22 PM
Leslie Cagan, former chair of Pacifica's interim national board, urged an audience at a March 12 meeting to abandon "the ugly and at times de-mobilizing ways" that struggle has manifested within the network. Cagan stepped down as a newly elected board assumed power. Pacifica has also settled differences with a former manager of its New York station.
Posted by Mike at 12:20 PM
The Associated Press looks at competition between public radio and religious broadcasters for spectrum, with a recent Marylan dispute as an example.
Posted by Mike at 10:36 AM
Mar 19, 2004
APTS goes public with a release about its digital-only proposal, suggesting that public TV could relinquish analog channels ahead of time in exchange for a trust fund that would supplement CPB aid. See also Current's article.
Posted by Steve at 10:48 AM
National Journal's William Powers devotes a column to Brian Lamb's C-SPAN, the media wallflower now celebrating its 25th anniversary. He describes C-SPAN's singular ability to show political life at length--specifically John Kerry demonstrating what Powers regards as charisma in a personal appearance, so different from the disdainful treatment the candidate has gotten from media heavies.
Posted by Steve at 10:40 AM
Mar 18, 2004
Former PBS and CPB programmer Jennifer Lawson will head Howard University's WHUT in Washington, D.C., the Washington Post reported. The station, which has long aimed to be the flagship of African-American public TV, has not had a permanent g.m. since Adam Clayton Powell III left more than a year ago.
Posted by Steve at 9:18 AM
Mar 17, 2004
NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin revisits Sandra Tsing Loh's cancellation, urging his network to cover the story: "Public radio in general -- and NPR in particular -- has seemed less than eager to report on itself whenever we become the legitimate subject of news reports in other places. ... Get over it, NPR." (Via Romenesko.)
Posted by Mike at 4:14 PM
Mar 16, 2004
Mar 15, 2004
New laws raising indecency fines are worrying some smaller broadcasters, including noncoms, reports The Oregonian.
Posted by Mike at 12:34 PM
Mar 12, 2004
Public Radio Program Directors rescheduled its conference this fall to avoid a conflict between its old dates and the observance of Yom Kippur. PRPD is now set for Sept. 29 through Oct. 2 in San Antonio. See Current's Calendar for more events.
Posted by Steve at 12:14 AM
Mar 11, 2004
Mar 10, 2004
Mar 9, 2004
Mar 8, 2004
L.A. Observed reports that Sandra Tsing Loh will comment on her firing from KCRW-FM in Los Angeles on today's Marketplace. In the Los Angeles Times, Loh said public radio is becoming "a seeping beigeness, a grim, endless, drumbeat of 'responsibility' that all the groovy Argentine trance-hop music in the world can't make up for."
Posted by Mike at 2:27 PM
Mar 5, 2004
Dee Davis, longtime Appalshop chief and producer of docs on public TV, helped fend off CBS's "reality" remake of Beverly Hillbillies and now intends to fight a UPN series that, critics say, will exploit Amish teenagers, the New York Times reports.
Posted by Steve at 6:26 AM
Mar 4, 2004
Santa Monica's KCRW fired commentator Sandra Tsing Loh for using a four-letter word in her feature Feb. 29, the Los Angeles Times reported. (Registration required.) The word aired twice even though it was pretaped. Congress meanwhile is still aroused politically by the Super Bowl incident. A House subcommittee approved increasing the fine for broadcast indecency to $500,000, according to wire service reports. [More at L.A. Observed and LA CityBEAT.]
Posted by Steve at 7:31 AM
Mar 3, 2004
Mar 2, 2004
Alistair Cooke, 95, has filed his last Letter from America and was absent from the BBC broadcast last week because of illness, the Observer reported. He had reported from the States to BBC listeners for 58 years. Via Pubradio.
Posted by Steve at 3:20 PM