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Jul 29, 2004

The NewsHour's coverage of the Democratic National Convention is posting big audience gains for PBS, reports the New York Times.
The Washington Post has the details about Bob Edwards' new XM Radio gig.

Jul 28, 2004

Bob Edwards is leaving NPR to host a morning show on XM Radio, reports NPR. The network's initial reports that the show would involve Public Radio International were erroneous.

Jul 27, 2004

"Trying to track the unproven innuendoes and conspiracies in a Michael Moore film or book is as futile as trying to count the flatulence jokes in one by Adam Sandler," says NPR's Scott Simon in The Wall Street Journal.

Jul 26, 2004

WHUT in Washington, D.C., just launched its first pledge drive in eight years. "Our attitude is that every dollar we raise through this drive is a dollar more than we had last year," says Jennifer Lawson, general manager.
"By default, documentary filmmakers are put in a dissident position because we are being critical of what's happening in the world," says film director Mark Achbar in the Washington Post.
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."

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.

Jul 22, 2004

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved today a bill that would allow for more low-power FM stations.
Bob Edwards declined to tell the (White River Junction, Vt.) Valley News whether he'll return to NPR after his book tour ends in two weeks. (Via Romenesko.)

Jul 21, 2004

After a $12,000 travel spree charged to the credit cards of public TV donors in North Carolina, a former temp for UNC-TV was arrested last weekend on charges of grand larceny and identity theft.
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."

Jul 20, 2004

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation meets Thursday to consider Sen. John McCain's low-power FM bill.
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.

Jul 19, 2004

Thomas Madigan, who produced an Emmy-winning PBS documentary, died at the age of 85, reports the New York Times. Madigan also oversaw corporate underwriting at several big public TV stations.
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?"

Jul 16, 2004

The Senate Commerce Committee will vote Tuesday on Sen. John McCain's low-power FM bill, reports Radio World. McCain's bill would remove most third-adjacent protections for full-power stations, allowing more LPFM stations to get on the air.

Jul 15, 2004

The Star-Telegram analyzes the press tour spin on why PBS gave a new show to CNN host Tucker Carlson. (Registration required.)
McSweeney's presents "My Son's Appearance on Fresh Air". It's good to know the specialized field of public radio satire is finding a ready outlet.

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.

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.)
Nashville Public Television recently severed all ties to the Metro Public Schools that once held its license, but it faces a $1.1 million shortfall with the end of local subsidies, reports the Tennessean. NPT looks to replace the public monies with datacasting revenues.
In the Chicago Sun-Times, public radio bigshots including Terry Gross, Ira Glass and Larry Josephson weigh in on the appeal of Howard Stern.

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.
Jeff Smith, enthusiastic host of The Frugal Gourmet, died at age 65, reports the Seattle Times. Once one of public TV's most popular talents, Smith's broadcast career ended after a sex scandal.
"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.

Jul 8, 2004

Jul 7, 2004

NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin looks at perceived contradictions in the network's reporting — including use of the terms "terrorist" and "militant," a dilemma which has dogged NPR (and other news outlets) before.
Broadcasters commenting on the FCC's proposed rules for digital radio have generally asked for loose restrictions and freedom to apportion digital bandwidth as they see fit, according to a Radio Magazine summary.