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Andrew Gill, a Vocalo web producer, followed up with James Asmus, author of the Marvel comic, who confirmed: “I’m a huge TAL fan (NPR in general), so when trying to depict the warm and wistfully quiet moments in a road trip, it felt like the perfect way to set the mood.” Nightcrawler has listened to TAL for years, Asmus says, and introduced Wolverine to the show. ”I’m declaring that right now,” Asmus told Gill. “It’s official continuity.” Current has learned that in the next book in the series, “Nation X #2,” amazed Arbitron personnel will monitor Wolverine’s portable people meter as he's converted — enduring excruciating pain — into a core listener and major donor with retractable claws.
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PBS has 15 Writers Guild of America nods -- more than any other broadcast or cable TV channel -- for outstanding achievement during the 2009 season. Frontline took all six nominations in the documentary and current events category. In the documentary other than current events category, all six slots also went to pubcasting, five for American Experience and one for National Parks: America's Best Idea. Bill Moyers Journal scored two nominations in news analysis feature or commentary, and Sesame Street also took two spots in children's episodic and specials. The nominations are from both the Writers Guild of America, West, and Writers Guild of America, East. The awards will be presented Feb. 20, 2010, in New York and Los Angeles. WGA has a full list of nominees here.
Dec 11, 2009
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Early in his short tenure at CPB, Alvarado was involved in retooling the PBS World digital channel into what he called "World 2.0," a multimedia service for a younger, more diverse audience. During a meeting with pubTV station execs in August, Alvarado described World 2.0 as a "transmedia platform" where "innovation starts to happen." But PBS withdrew its support for the project this summer and turned World back over to the two stations that originally developed it, WNET in New York and WGBH in Boston.
Dec 8, 2009
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For a week in February (Feb. 19-26), the FCC will offer 67 local FM frequencies assigned to specific cities and towns. The commission postponed the filing window from December on the request of public media groups seeking more time to prepare. (Original announcement.) Though the frequencies will be reserved for noncommercial use, they remain unused in the commercial FM band — that is, above 92.1 MHz. The places on the list were chosen because at least 10 percent of their population now have access to no more than one noncomm radio service. The FCC will use a point system giving preference to local applicants with local boards and to those who don’t hold other licenses. These are mostly small cities and towns; among the larger or better known are Terre Haute, Ind., and Bozeman, Mont. Though the list includes Amherst and Canton, the FCC refers to Amherst, N.Y. (not Massachusetts) and Canton, Ill. (not Ohio). Five are in Indiana and five in Illinois. Most of the channels are designated for Class A, the weakest category of full-power FM stations, with transmitter power limited to 6 kilowatts. To coordinate with this FCC window, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration will extend its annual deadline for related equipment grant applications until Feb. 26.
"That's like asking Lady Gaga to cover a Peggy Lee tune and expecting it to be a hit, assuming Lady GaGa would even be interested in covering it (which she would not)," Ramsey writes on his blog Hear 2.0.
Repeating a point he made during a 2008 keynote speech to the Public Radio Program Directors conference, Ramsey notes that Jon Stewart of the Daily Show is "more popular among public radio listeners than the vast majority of public radio personalities. Jon Stewart does a type of news show. Jon Stewart reaches younger audiences." Ramsey also recommends Slate's weekly political podcast, Gabfest. "It reaches exactly the kind of younger, college-educated crowd that public radio has coveted. It sells out its occasional live events. And, of course, it's not on public radio."
Scholastic Media, the international children's publishing, education and media company, is introducing iPhone and iPod apps for several kid's shows including PBS's Clifford the Big Red Dog and WordGirl. Clifford's is titled BE BIG with Words; kids are rewarded with pictures of words they spell. For WordGirl fans there's Word Hunt (above), in which players save a city from villains by using vocabulary words. They're available from the Apps Store.
Dec 2, 2009
During this morning's FTC panel on nonprofit journalism, Free Press Executive Director Josh Silver called for three structural changes to be sought through reauthorization of the Public Broadcasting Act. "Abandon the appropriations process," Silver said, referring to congressional appropriations to CPB. Free Press advocates an independent funding mechanism for public media, such as spectrum auction proceeds or taxes on electronic devices. "Change the way the CPB Board is appointed," he said. The current process of presidential appointees is "too political." Silver also called for a stronger role for ombudsmen at CPB and other pubcasting news organizations.
Speaking on the same panel, CPB's Joaquin Alvarado said any reauthorization has to provide adequate funding to the field. "We have to address, 'How much funding? To do what?'" Alvarado said. He envisions a scenario in which traditional public broadcasters and the innovative new media start-ups backed by the Knight Foundation and others could come together and support each other's work. Professional journalists, he said, are like an endangered species of condor. "We need mating pairs."
The first afternoon panel at the FTC has just resumed. You can stream it here or follow the #FTCnews twitter feed. Wall Street Journal's coverage of yesterday's panels, featuring fireworks between Rupert Murdoch and Arianna Huffington, is here.
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Long dominated by Baby Boomers, the audiences of public radio news, jazz and classical music stations in the top 50 markets are aging at slightly different rates, but the lifestyle changes of retirement loom for this sizable group. In fact, nearly half of classical listeners are already out of the workforce.
Over the past decade, spring 1999 to 2009, the audience of news-format stations has aged more slowly than those of classical or jazz stations, according to George Bailey of Walrus Research. News-station listeners’ median age climbed five years from 47 to 52; for jazz, the median aged seven years, from 48 to 55; for classical, the median also grew seven years older, going from 58 to 65.
Bailey notes that “half of the classical audience are not Boomers, rather they are seniors on Medicare.” The percentage of classical music listeners who are employed dipped to 47 percent this year. That’s a 16 percent drop from spring 1997, when 63 percent of the classical audience was in the workforce. As for the retirees, “the end of employment may have some impact on their willingness to contribute money to the station,” he writes.
Percentages of news and jazz listeners who are employed are 70 and 61, respectively, but the portions have dropped 7 points or more since 1999.
Bailey attributes slower aging among news listeners to those stations’ successes in recruiting listeners, including younger ones. “In fact, the NPR news stations that we analyzed in this study nearly doubled their audience from 2007 to 2009.” Some of these new listeners are younger, college-educated folk.
Walrus used AudiGraphics to analyze 51 public radio stations broadcasting focused formats in 2009. Stations had to air the format during morning, midday and afternoon dayparts to be included.
Nov 21, 2009
This means not only a reduced presence for one of PBS’s journalistic stars and the possible idling of two prize-winning public-affairs production teams, but also the mixed opportunity/problem of a 90-minute opening on the network’s Friday-night feed.
PBS will announce plans in January for its public-affairs lineup to take effect in May, according to a statement from the network last week, and declined to comment on the plans prematurely.
Moyers, who is 75, told Current he had planned to retire from the weekly Bill Moyers’ Journal on Dec. 25, but PBS asked him last month to arrange extended funding and keep the program going through April.