Nov 30, 2005
Humorist Andy Borowitz imagines that President Bush considered bombing NPR in advance of the Iraq War until British Prime Minister Tony Blair talked him out of it.
Posted by Mike at 1:50 PM
Nov 29, 2005
Nov 28, 2005
In the New York Times today and the Washington Post yesterday editorialists derided former CPB Chair Ken Tomlinson -- in the Times as a "disastrous zealot" and in the Post as "a triumph of 'politics over good judgment'". They followed similar views published in the Toledo Blade and elsewhere. Richard Mellon Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, however, said the true scandal is that taxpayers are "conscripted" to pay for media.
Posted by Steve at 1:45 PM
In a feature at Poynter.org, NPR's Bill Marimow and Daniel Zwerdling share stories of how their work has made a difference.
Posted by Mike at 12:50 PM
Nov 23, 2005
Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories, a PBS documentary about domestic abuse, has come under a withering blogosphere attack for unfairly vilifying fathers. Men's advocacy groups and experts co-signed a letter to PBS challenging the film's journalistic rigor and one of the fathers named in the film threatened to sue for libel. Op-eds published by Fox News and the Boston Globe this week comment on the controversy. Glenn Sacks, a columnist and advocate for men's rights, leads the e-mail campaign, and has published court documents that paint a different picture of a mother portrayed heroicly in Breaking the Silence. (The daughter caught in the middle of this, Fatima Loeliger, posted her response here.) HoustonPBS produced a special edition of The Connection to examine the issues raised in the documentary. PBS has told critics it is reviewing the documentary.
Posted by Karen at 9:40 AM
Nov 21, 2005
Adding conservative voices "appropriately diversified" the PBS lineup, the Houston Chronicle editorialized Nov. 19, but former CPB Chairman Ken Tomlinson unnecessarily created a scandal with his secretive campaign for balance. "Thanks to his improper consultations with the White House ... Tomlinson forfeited any claim as a crusader for fairness. Public broadcasting was meant to give Americans respite from the handiwork of political hacks."
Posted by Steve at 5:57 AM
The CPB Board induced former President Robert Coonrod to extend his time in office by giving him a four-year consulting contract worth nearly $500,000 and starting after he left CPB, the New York Times reported this morning. Because the CPB president's salary is capped by Congress (he was paid $174,000), the contract could raise political hackles. The board also agreed to pay his successor as president, Kathleen Cox, more than $600,000 as severance, a CPB spokesman told Current. Now the Times reports that CPB may withhold part of her settlement.
Posted by Steve at 5:35 AM
Nov 17, 2005
NPR's Bill Marimow discusses his network's growing commitment to investigative journalism in an Editor and Publisher report.
Posted by Mike at 1:39 PM
"...Watch Pat, she is slick as grease lightning." That was former CPB Board Chair Kenneth Tomlinson on PBS President Pat Mitchell in an e-mail to the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot. The WSJ has posted e-mails between Tomlinson and Gigot surrounding the creation of the Journal Editorial Report. (free registration required)
Posted by Jeremy Egner at 11:50 AM
Congress restored nearly all cuts in pubcasting funding proposed for the present fiscal year, APTS reports. A House/Senate conference committee last night okayed the big appropriations bill covering CPB as well as education and health agencies. CPB funding for FY06 rises to $400 million as planned and Congress maintained the practice of advance funding, okaying the same level for FY08.
Posted by Steve at 10:12 AM
Nov 16, 2005
Ken Tomlinson, then CPB chairman, proposed a "very generous" severance package to fire President Kathleen Cox, the organization's inspector general reported Tuesday (PDF, page 21): three times her total annual compensation. (CPB spokesman Michael Levy told Current the amount was $614,000.) Cox's attorney said in the report she has not yet received a second installment.
Posted by Steve at 7:13 PM
Nov 15, 2005
In a letter to the IG, a lawyer for former CPB President Kathleen Cox says Chairman Tomlinson told her she was "not political enough" for the job and her "personal integrity" got in the way of continued employment. Tomlinson berated her for communicating directly with other board members. She was forced to quit in April (Current article). See Appendix D of IG report (full report).
Posted by Steve at 9:52 AM
CPB's inspector general, Kenneth Konz, found evidence that former CPB Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson violated the law and the CPB Board's code of ethics in dealing directly with an executive of the Wall Street Journal, apparently Paul Gigot, during negotiations about the newspaper's PBS show, which has been discontinued as of Dec. 2. Executive summary on Current's site. Large PDF file of full 67-page report on CPB's website.
Posted by Steve at 9:34 AM
Nov 14, 2005
Managers of pubradio stations reacted with surprise to the news that Blair Feulner, g.m. of KCPW/KPCW-FM in Park City, Utah, makes $150,000 a year. "For me to ask for $100,000 at KUER would be inappropriate in the extreme — and my boss would make that clear," said one g.m. in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Posted by Mike at 9:57 AM
Nov 10, 2005
A recent survey found that public broadcasting's news reporting is the most trusted in the media, reports Broadcasting & Cable. (See the survey results and related materials.)
Posted by Mike at 12:53 PM
Nov 8, 2005
The University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., will seek a buyer for its noncommercial FM station, KUOP-FM. Capital Public Radio in Sacramento has been operating the station for five years under a management agreement.
Posted by Mike at 1:57 PM
Nov 7, 2005
A recent Station Resource Group analysis of CPB data (PDF) suggests that public radio stations need to get serious about becoming more efficient fundraisers, writes consultant John Sutton.
Posted by Mike at 11:29 AM
The Rev. James Dobson's "Family News in Focus" website quotes "media critic Pat Trueman" calling for nonliberals to "step into the void" left by Ken Tomlinson's resignation from the CPB Board and "take up where he left off." (Earlier this year Patrick A. Trueman was a senior legal counsel of Family Research Council.) The website says Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, is volunteering to lead the effort. The article seems to imply that liberals have chased away Tomlinson.
Posted by Steve at 8:44 AM
Nov 5, 2005
In addition to the CPB probe, Kenneth Tomlinson is the subject of an investigation by the State Department's inspector general, launched in July, the New York Times reports this morning. Materials including e-mails between Tomlinson and White House aide Karl Rove have been seized by State's IG and may be disclosed in the CPB IG's report this month, the newspaper said. Tomlinson is chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, overseer of Voice of America, Alhurra and other agencies.
Posted by Steve at 7:26 AM
Nov 3, 2005
Nov 2, 2005
The Media Access Project filed petitions with the FCC to deny pending license renewals for commercial television stations in Chicago and Milwaukee. Broadcasters in both cities failed to meet their public interest obligations because their 2004 news coverage largely overlooked local and statewide elections, according to petitions filed on behalf of Chicago Media Action and Milwaukee Public Interest Media Coalition. In a separate petition, Third Coast Press included the city's public TV stations in its motion (pdf) to deny renewals to Chicago's TV outlets.
Posted by Karen at 11:27 AM