Oct 31, 2005

More pix on Flickr from the Third Coast Festival.
A weakening focus on core broadcast programming is to blame for public radio's recent audience losses, writes consultant John Sutton. "Much of the industry’s attention is on reaching new and different audiences through new and different technologies," he says. "It’s as if a lot of people in public radio don’t want to be in radio anymore."

Oct 28, 2005

Romenesko asks: "Has NPR's Libby Lewis done any reports yet on Lewis Libby?"

Oct 24, 2005

Steve Fentriss, a 19-year-old drummer and composer from Ann Arbor, Mich., has recorded a little ditty called "I Love Public Radio." You can download it from his website (MP3). (Related article in the Ann Arbor News.)
Ray Suarez will host public radio's America Abroad and continue as a correspondent for public TV's NewsHour. Public Radio International distributes America Abroad to more than 100 stations.
See pictures from the Third Coast International Audio Festival on the Public Radio Exchange's Flickr page.
"Public radio forces too much money out of its on-air fund drives," writes consultant John Sutton on his blog. "And the problem is likely to get worse."
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer profiles Seattle's KEXP-FM. "They're keeping this hopeful notion of what music is supposed to be about alive," says a record label president.

Oct 21, 2005

WTTW plans to make big changes to its signature news magazine in January when former news anchor and CBS News correspondent Carol Marin signs on at Chicago Tonight. Marin's hiring, announced Oct. 20, foreshadows the exit of current anchor Bob Sirott, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. "The whole show will be changing," a WTTW spokeswoman tells Crain's Chicago Business.

Oct 18, 2005

Mark Handley, the retiring g.m. of New Hampshire Public Radio, reminisces in the New Hampshire Union Leader about his time at the network. Handley and his wife began a sailboat trip around the world yesterday; they're tracking their travels online.

Oct 17, 2005

In a world of new media options for kids and their parents, PBS's preeminence as the service with high-quality educational preschool fare is no longer assured, reports the Boston Globe. The landscape for kids TV has changed so much that even PBS looks to earn new revenues from commercials.
Cuts to CPB funding proposed by House Republicans would force tough decisions at Nebraska ETV. “We would probably have to eliminate our local programming if we wanted PBS programming,” General Manager Rod Bates tells the Lincoln Journal-Star. “That's the kind of choice we would have to make." In June, all three of Nebraska's Republican representatives voted against a House measure restoring $100 million in CPB funds.

Oct 12, 2005

If you're wondering what industry could become NPR's big competitor in serious news coverage, the New York Times had a hint on Monday. In an article fretting about newspapers' future, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is quoted: "We will follow our readers where they take us. ... If they want us on cellphones or downloaded so they can hear us in audio, we must be there."
"For the first time ever, hit prime time shows can be purchased online the day after they air on TV," Disney's new c.e.o. said today as Apple announced a $299 Video iPod that can hold 150 hours of TV, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"I'm with people who love radio," says Bob Edwards of his XM Satellite Radio gig. "NPR is run by newspaper people. Sometimes I think they don't even like radio."

Oct 11, 2005

"Finding the Future of Public Television" is the topic of a day-and-a-half workshop backed by CPB in Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14-15. Speakers include CPB programmers Michael Pack and John Prizer, leftie performer Harry Shearer, conservative producer Lionel Chetwynd, former studio chief Frank Price and other producers and writers. They'll debate whether PBS can "fully represent America's diverse culture." Organizer of the workshop, the conservative American Cinema Foundation, will hold it on AFI's Western Avenue campus.

Oct 7, 2005

Radio World lists several noncommercial radio licensees, including WAMC-FM in Albany, N.Y., who received licenses after the FCC resolved conflicting applications.
Ron Della Chiesa will step down next month as the weekday morning classical music host on Boston's WGBH-FM, reports the Boston Herald. He has hosted classical music on the station for 35 years. (He is not retiring, as this item formerly and erroneously stated.)
Longtime Prairie Home Companion sponsor Lands' End has ended its underwriting deal with the show, reports the (Madison, Wis.) Capital Times.
Josh Kornbluth, host of a quirky new local series and weblog for KQED-TV, dreamed of being an NBA point guard, but he never imagined having his own TV show. "You look at someone who belongs on television . . . they're solid, like they belong there.... An animated character can be like me, " he tells the San Francisco Chronicle. "Look at Jim Lehrer, and look at his hair. There's no way I can compete with that."

Oct 6, 2005

CPB seeks a firm to help with developing public radio services for Latinos in Los Angeles.
"A lot of people probably don't know me or haven't heard about me and are not used to having this additional channel for challenge," says Michael Getler, describing his new job as PBS ombudsman. Getler, a veteran newspaper reporter and editor who is ending a five-year term as Washington Post ombudsman, joins PBS on Nov. 15.
Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the left-wing weekly The Nation, picked up on a senator's jibe at Ken Tomlinson, suggesting that CPB put $5 million into a commentary program run by her magazine just as it did for the Wall Street Journal's roundtable show. "We're serious. With the departure of Bill Moyers from Now, PBS has no outspoken liberals at all offering commentary," she wrote, concluding, "We eagerly await your response."
NPR will beef up coverage of the southern U.S. with a reporter stationed in Nashville, reports the Nashville City Paper.

Oct 5, 2005

WUNC-FM in Chapel Hill, N.C., hopes to launch a national talk show hosted by Dick Gordon, former host of The Connection. A plea for funds on the website of the Triangle Community Foundation lays out the plan.
Michael Getler, who holds the position at the Washington Post, will become the first ombudsman for PBS. Getler worked for the Post 26 years, reporting on the Pentagon, Central Europe and London beats, then serving as foreign editor and deputy managing editor. He became executive editor of the International Herald Tribune in 1996 and returned to the Post as ombudsman in 2000. With backing from a panel of journalists, PBS decided to hire an ombudsman this summer. CPB had hired a pair of journalists for the purpose. In three months, they've published seven essays on CPB's website.
There's a LiveJournal community for public radio fans.
"I am by definition a reporter. Not an editor, not a publisher. A reporter," says NPR Co-Managing Editor Bill Marimow in the Johns Hopkins Newsletter.
NPR has tried to make it easier for listeners to offer feedback but still has work to do, says Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin in his latest column.
"Whenever I'm not sure about something, the ethics of something, the question I ask myself is what would Murrow have done? What would Murrow say?" says NPR's Daniel Schorr. (Via Romenesko.)
"Beyond investigations, we must lay out a program for a new governance of PBS, one that is safely shielded from partisan hatchets," writes Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) in a Huffington Post column.

Oct 4, 2005

Marc Steiner has stepped down as executive v.p. for broadcast and production at WYPR-FM in Baltimore, reports the City Paper. Anonymous sources cite friction between Steiner and WYPR President Tony Brandon as one reason.
A blogger and Bob Edwards fan reports that NPR barred Daniel Schorr from appearing on Edwards' XM Satellite Radio show.
The Third Coast International Audio Festival has announced the winners of its annual radio documentary competition (but not the particular awards they won).
City weeklies often disdain the local public TV station, but not Nashville City Paper, which commented on the departure of Steve Bass, head of WNPT: "Last week, Bass announced he will move to Oregon Public Television at the end of the year. He leaves Nashville richer for his having passed this way. . . ."
It's time to dump CPB and create a funding system independent of politics, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) suggests. The liberal media watchdog quotes James Ledbetter: "Like a dog that has learned to flinch at the mere pantomime of its master’s lashing, public broadcasters know how to avoid topics and methods of criticism that might bring down the hand of rebuke.”