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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.
Dec 18, 2009
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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.