Oct 3, 2008

Three new CPB Board members, one gets a new term; Halpern doesn't

Democratic senators may have ended, perhaps temporarily, Republican member Cheryl Halpern's stint on the CPB Board. The Senate yesterday confirmed the three new White House nominees to the board and one reappointment, retired Sen. David Pryor (D-Ark.). They were confirmed unanimously by the Senate Commerce Committee, and Senate leaders put them in a large package of generally noncontroversial unanimous-consent items put forth for quick passage yesterday as Congress moves toward adjournment, says a committee source. But Halpern, successor of ex-Chair Ken Tomlinson, got two nay votes along with 18 thumbs up--from committee Chair Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) and a senior member, Byron Dorgan (N.D.)--and was left out of the package. Appointed for three years are Elko, Nev., radio journalist Loretta Cheryl Sutliff (Lori Gilbert on the air) and Elizabeth Sembler, APTS Board member associated with WEDU in Tampa. Named for five years were Pryor and Bruce M. Ramer, Hollywood entertainment attorney and longtime KCET Board member. More on the board newcomers here.

Bresnahan will head to Seattle

KCTS-TV in Seattle has hired Maurice “Moss” Bresnahan as its president, according to South Carolina’s Bresnahan has served as president of South Carolina’s ETV for seven years. At KCTS, he will replace Bill Mohler, who has led the station since 2003.

VP debate draws bigger audience than Obama/McCain for PBS

Nearly a million more viewers tuned in for PBS’s broadcast of the vice-presidential debate last night than watched the first presidential debate last week, reports Broadcasting & Cable. According to Nielsen, 3.5 million viewers on average tuned in for the debate and the coverage that followed.

Outrage over arrests of journalists muted by 'Goodman effect'

The media's "subdued response" to the arrests of working journalists during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul sends the message that "we don't care all that much when our watchdog role is threatened," writes Adam Reilly in the Boston Phoenix. Scant coverage by mainstream news media was partly due to the "Goodman effect," he writes, referring to the arrest and detention of Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. The video of Goodman's arrest quickly made her "a cause célèbre on the left," and may have deterred by major news organizations from pursuing the story, he reports. Reilly's story, which includes a video of his interview with Goodman and her producer Nicole Salazar, is here. Listeners to On the Media are chewing over this lingering non-controversy too.

Kidvid host gets another school board term

Robert Heck was reappointed to a three-year term on Baltimore’s school board, the city’s Sun newspaper reports. Heck hosts Bob the Vid Tech, a children’s show on Maryland Public Television.

Two views of Ifill as moderator

At the Huffington Post, Judy Muller writes that moderator Gwen Ifill ought to have taken Sarah Palin to task during last night’s debate by pushing her to answer questions more directly. “… [F]or whatever reason, the debate got away from her and Palin got away with passing off folksy platitudes as substitutes for substance,” Muller writes. Meanwhile, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler uses his column to address the controversy surrounding Ifill and her upcoming book about race and politics, which prompted some criticism that the moderator favors Barack Obama. Ifill and the Commission on Presidential Debates should have publicly discussed the book earlier, “in plenty of time to be discussed and explained, to have potential public perceptions considered, and to be checked with the candidates,” Getler writes.