Feb 26, 2009

Moyers responds to Slate column

Public television newsman Bill Moyers is speaking out in an email to the editor of, complaining about a column by Slate writer Jack Shafer. Shafer's piece focused on a recent story in The Washington Post by reporter Joe Stephens that said Moyers, once a special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, asked the FBI to investigate the sexual orientation of two members of that administration. In the Post story, Moyers told Stephens that his memory was unclear on the incident. Moyers wrote in part to Slate: "Jack Shafer breathlessly reported very old news as new, and in a wholly irresponsible way that distorted the record beyond recognition. He bothered neither to check the secondhand sources on which he wholly relied nor to ask me for comment on them."

Pubcasters to participate in volunteerism summit

CPB and the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network are among some three dozen organizations participating in "A Nation of Neighbors Helping Neighbors: A Summit on Volunteerism as a Response to the Economic Crisis," sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Fairfield (Conn.) University's Center for Faith and Public Life. The Feb. 27 event will focus on the role of volunteers in community recovery from the financial crisis.

WETA cuts 13 percent of its staff

WETA eliminated 29 full- and part-time positions this week. There were 15 employees laid off and 14 vacant positions will remain unfilled. Salaries for senior managers have been cut by 13 percent to 15 percent. Those moves and other cost cutting will save the public broadcaster $2.5 million in annual expenses. WETA is based in Arlington, Va., and broadcasts to the Washington, D.C., metro area.

Meetings begin Monday on broadband billions

With stimulus orders to spend $4.7 billion without delay, the National Telecom and Information Administration starts holding on-the-record meetings March 2 in Washington about broadband projects, the agency announced this week. The proper name: Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, or Broadband TOP. In addition, the Ag Department’s Rural Utilities Service will dispense $2.5 billion under the bill. Here’s the raw legislation for appropriations to NTIA and RUS, courtesy of the National Association of Telecom Officers and Advisors.