Sep 30, 2010
For 28 years the station has done Doctors on Call “to give the community the language they need to communicate with their doctors,” Juli Kellner, WDSE director of production and programming, told Current. “Just now we are moving into mental health and attempting to demystify that.”
The premiere will present the documentary “Look It in the Eye,” by filmmaker Dan Woods of Superior, Wisc., featuring two families confronting mental illness. Following the film, a panel of mental health professionals will answer viewer questions.
The project is produced in cooperation with the mental-health focused Human Development Center in Duluth, Minn., which provided funding, Kellner said. Local businesses also pitched in for supplies to build the set.
Sep 29, 2010
And speaking of cleavage, did you see Perry's now-notorious Elmo shirt sketch on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live? That video's up to 2 million hits. Warning: Kinda racy.
UPDATE: Amber McClure, content coordinator for PIC, reports from Honolulu that about 150 trivia contest entries have come in so far. "Many alumni of Kamehameha Schools have expressed their appreciation for the trivia questions and the opportunity for them to reminisce, reconnect with friends on Facebook, and look forward to the upcoming screenings of the film," she said. "We’ve also gotten comments from fans of Hawaiian music and dance from around the world, which has been really touching."
Sep 28, 2010
Six supporters guaranteed the $300,000 loan from Bridgehampton National Bank. Peconic plans to pay down the loan with its ongoing capital campaign. After assuming ownership, the station will be able to seek capital donations on the air for the first time, a spokesman said.
Though the station has a small translator at mid-island, most of its listeners live in the resort communities on the island’s eastern tip, where it faces competition from translators of larger Connecticut public radio stations. The university will be paid after the FCC license is transferred.
Vegas PBS told Current in a statement: "Vegas PBS has been conducting political debates for almost 25 years and during that time created a process that is efficient and fair to the candidates participating in the debate. The unfortunate episode that occurred during the Faith Lutheran event has no bearing on Vegas PBS' decision to not open the U.S. Senate, Gubernatorial or Congressional District 3 debates to the general public. These debates will be carried live on Vegas PBS channel 10 and it was always our intent that our audience view these debates via our website at VegasPBS.org or on television. Vegas PBS has always planned for adequate security to ensure the safety of our candidates, media and others participating in the democratic process. We stand by our proven processes and procedures to produce quality and informational debates for our viewing audience."
Nevertheless, PBS was well represented during the evening. The prestigious Chairman’s Award went to the PBS NewsHour. Roger Mudd, former Washington correspondent for CBS News, NBC News and the McNeil/Lehrer NewsHour on PBS, presented the award to Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer, longtime executive producer Les Crystal, and current executive producer Linda Winslow. (Don't miss MacNeil's commentary on the award on the show's Rundown blog.)
PBS President Paula Kerger presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Frederick Wiseman "one of the most accomplished documentarians in the history of the medium," according to the Academy. Many of Wiseman's docs have aired on PBS. Perhaps the filmmaker's most famous work is 1967's groundbreaking and controversial "Titicut Follies," a graphic look at conditions inside the State Prison for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, Mass.
-- Frontline won three Emmys: Investigative journalism in a news magazine for for "Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground" (by Frontline/World); continuing coverage of a news story, long form, "A Death in Tehran"; and investigative journalism, long form, "The Warning."
-- Bill Moyers Journal won for historical programming, long form, for "The Good Soldier."
-- POV took a statuette for science and technology programming for "The English Surgeon."
Visit the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences site for a full list of winners.
Sep 27, 2010
Sep 24, 2010
Sep 23, 2010
Sep 22, 2010
Meanwhile, a pubradio outlet on the opposite coast just launched two new weekly programs. Public Radio Delmarva, which is competing against two distant pubradio stations that recently added stations on Maryland's Eastern shore, today debuted a show helmed by Marc Steiner, founder and former host of Baltimore's WYPR, On Delmarva. Last weekend the saucy Saturday broadcast 2 Boomer Babes, which pubradio "program doctor" Jim Russell had a hand in developing, began its run. 2 Boomer Babes previously aired on a commercial station.
The controversial company captures and encodes live television signals then routes the encrypted signals through an app to be viewed by consumers via a Windows, Macintosh or Linux computer. Mobile devices, tablets, and set-top-box integration are coming soon, according to ivi's website -- which includes the promo line, "Watch the Berenstain Bears on PBS!"
In addition to WNET and WGBH, broadcasters that sent letters of protest to ivi and are named as defendants in ivi's suit are: NBC-Universal, CBS, Disney, ABC, The CW Television Stations, Inc., Fox Television, Major League Baseball, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, and Fisher Communications.
A spokesman for ivi declined to tell Current if it has yet paid WGBH and WNET for content, and if so how much and when and how the payments were made. "Payments will be made in accordance with law," Hal Bringman said. He also declined to say how many users ivi currently has. The service launched Sept. 13.
UPDATE: WGBH has provided Current with this statement: "WGBH’s position is that unauthorized commercial exploitation of our copyrighted material, and the creative and financial resources that went into their production, is illegal. WGBH is working closely with WNET on this issue to protect public television programming assets."
Sep 21, 2010
CPB management commissioned Public Radio Capital for a systemwide analysis of fiscal year 2008 and FY2009 to assess pubTV station solvency. During that time, non-federal funding fell 16 percent. Although federal support to stations increased, aggregate revenues "continued their steep downward trend," the report said. Community licensees saw a 22 percent decrease in corporate underwriting, with national producing stations particularly impacted. Individual philanthropy is down 11 percent regardless of licensee type or station size.
And according to CPB, three more stations have requested assistance through its Stations in Financial Distress program: WTCI/Tennessee Valley PBS in Chattanooga, Tenn.; WOUB in Athens, Ohio; and WMFE in Orlando, Fla. (UPDATE: In a statement to Current, WMFE President Jose A. Fajardo said, "WMFE-TV/FM has not filed for CPB's Stations in Financial Distress program. We have inquired about the program and have discussed this option with CPB, but have not officially filed any paperwork with CPB. To state so is premature.")
The only relatively positive news was that following their deep budget cuts, most pubTV stations "appear to have adequate levels of short-term cash to meet current obligations" — however, those reserves are down by an average 10 percent. Also, the number of stations with high levels of longterm debt is on the decline.
In other news, the board:
— Tabled a recommendation by the Community Service Grant policy review panel to raise the NFFS requirement to receive a CSG from $800,000 to $1 million (see story in the latest Current, Sept. 20). The board considered tackling the complex issue at its next meeting in November, or in a telephone meeting. "If this were a perfect world this would be done in a month and stations would know for budget planning purposes," Chairman Ernest Wilson said, "but my hunch is this will stay at $800,000 for the next year." The board also tabled the panel's suggestion for $2 million in additional funding for "minority qualified stations," pending a definition of those grantees and research into the legality of the set asides. The board passed the remaining CSG panel recommendations, most of which supported current policies;
— Approved CPB's request to the Office of Management and Budget for a $495 million advance appropriation for FY2014, up $35 million from the probable FY2013 funding; and $48 million for FY2012 digital support, up $12 million from that FY2011 appropriation;
— Heard from CPB President Pat Harrison that the corporation continues discussions with the Federal Communications Commission for its "Future of the Media" report due out in January 2011. That will contain FCC policy recommendations, Harrison said, "including possible revisions to the Public Broadcasting Act, which would have implications for CPB and public media."
— And received an update on the American Archive initiative from board member Bruce Ramer, who said law students at several universities in California, including Stanford and UCLA, are assisting the project with research on the tricky issue of copyright clearance for the massive amount of historic pubTV and radio content currently being inventoried.
NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard looked into Shearer's complaints last week and found that his desire to promote himself from a guest on Talk of the Nation to Morning Edition or All Things Considered, the NPR shows with the biggest audiences, were misguided--and complaining about it in the Huffington Post was disingenuous. "But NPR has devoted extensive coverage over the past five years to Katrina and the aftermath. And NPR did cover Shearer’s new film – just not in the way he wanted it," Shepard wrote [emphasis in original]. His beef with NPR's legal team could have been avoided, she wrote, "if both sides had been willing to compromise."
But another public radio journalist/blogger, Molly Peterson of Southern California Public Radio's KPCC, says Shepard was too quick to defend NPR's post-Katrina coverage of New Orleans. Peterson ought to know--she's reported extensively on the failures of the levy system in the award-winning series Pumps Under Pressure. Like Shearer, she offered her investigative story to NPR and was rebuffed. "It is not generally speaking the custom of the station-based public radio reporter to out their inner workings with freelance pitches, particularly to NPR," Peterson writes in response to the "silly flap" over Shearer's censorship complaints. "I’ll make an exception to say that NPR was offered these pieces, or segments thereof, or a conversation about them. The message I received was that they had their own coverage plans, and anyway, there had been enough about Katrina around that ‘versary."
Bob Collins, author of MPR's News Cut blog, also has been following the controversy and generating lots of comments. Collins admitted last week that his initial blog post was too quick to dismiss Shearer's complaints about NPR, and he challenged Shepard to reengage in the online discussion.
University News Service director Daniel Wolter told the Daily Planet that the Bell Museum is responsible for halting the release. That's part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences, and where the film was to premiere on Oct. 3. "We are an academic and science-based institution, and we want to ensure a production like this is scientifically sound," Wolter said. The film's director, Larkin McPhee, told the Daily Planet in an email: "I do not understand why the University postponed the film's broadcast. I am, along with many others, awaiting explanation from the U."
But now the Star Tribune is reporting that Barbara Coffin, head of the film unit at the Bell Museum, calls the situation "our messy internal confusion." She adds: "Unfortunately, an impulsive late-hour decision to pull the film from broadcast was made without wide internal discussion."
Sep 20, 2010
At least two dozen universities, squeezed by the recession, have also been considering the licensee management agreement option, or consolidating their stations with others, or selling them outright, according to a July survey by pubradio’s University Station Alliance. That was the situation reported by 26 stations, or nearly a fifth of those responding to the alliance survey.
Sep 17, 2010
Kling also suggests that the FCC require ISPs that develop private broadband networks "carry all relevant applications and programming from Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) qualified public service media organizations at no cost to the content producer." This, he writes, will allow "consumer preference" to determine what amount of network capacity is set aside for public service content. Potential rules could require On-demand HD video services to carry PBS applications serving content from such programs as Frontline, Masterpiece and PBS Kids along with other local pubTV shows. "Even private gaming networks could benefit from the noncommercial games developed by or for public service media organizations," he noted.
Current checked back with a couple sources from our November 2009 story. "We think Kachingle has a lot of potential, and we have discussed with them how we might implement the service on MinnPost.com. For the time being, we decided to delay implementation," said Karl Pearson-Cater, operations director. And Teri Lamitie, WGBH's director of online marketing, said, "We haven’t tried it. I’d still like to give it a shot."
Hearings continue on the fate of the New Jersey Network. A 10-member panel heard testimony Thursday (Sept. 16) at Stockton College in Pomona on a proposal to cut all state funding to the New Jersey Network's public radio and television and spin it off as an independent entity. "But after the second of three hearings, it was clear that neither lawmakers nor NJN executives had a solid strategy about turning the broadcaster into a money-maker," writes the the Press of Atlantic City. At the meeting, Janice Selinger, acting exec director of NJN, said the network assumed that the legislature and governor would come up with a plan. Because that's not clear, "I'm investigating what models in other states have been successful." The final public hearing is Sept. 23 at the Municipal Building in Montclair.
Sep 16, 2010
He also has a few suggestions, including PBS creating, say, a Law & Order: Pittsburgh. "Why can’t a community entertain its audience while supporting, encouraging and facilitating the development of local talent?"
Pierotti said he's not asking for a "dumbing down" or "injection of crassness" into PBS, "but rather an expansion of its identity. Because let's face it, the current programming lacks daring or originality."
Sep 15, 2010
Sep 14, 2010
The first of three hearings to decide the fate of the New Jersey Network are under way today at the statehouse, reports the Bergen Record. Gov. Chris Christie (R) has proposed ending the state's $11 million subsidy and transferring NJN's operations, licenses and equipment to a nongovernmental entity, most likely an independent, nonprofit (Current, July 6, 2010). So far, Democrats are emphasizing the need for a statewide television network; Republicans agree but are stressing the state’s fiscal difficulties.
Sep 13, 2010
Several public broadcasters are recipients or partners in this third round of funding, including:
-- Hiki No, PBS Hawaii, $240,500: To create a statewide student news network linking middle and high schools across the islands. Called Hiki No, Hawaiian for “can do,” the journalism network, in partnership with the PBS affiliate, will produce newscasts on air and online.
-- NOWCastSA/Texas Week, KLRN-TV, San Antonio, $205,500: Local news site and previous challenge winner, NowCastSA, will partner with the PBS affiliate to increase the site’s visibility and use.
-- Alaska Public Telecommunications Inc., $175,500: The state’s public radio and TV stations will create an online news hub to host hyperlocal blogs and virtual community “think tanks” on arts and culture, Alaskan natives and local business. Organizers will make a special push to include the voices and contributions of rural Alaskans.
And news audiences are drawn to different sources for different reasons, the survey points out: Headlines, entertainment, in-depth reporting, views and opinions, or a combination. For regular NPR listeners, for instance, "no single reason stands out as to why people watch, read or listen," the survey says. Some 28 percent of regular NPR listeners cite several, or all, of the reasons listed, while nearly as many say they listen for the latest news 21 percent or for in-depth reporting 20 percent.
Another interesting finding: Men and women differ in their news consumption on digital platforms. Around 50 percent of men and 39 percent of women get news on the Internet and mobile technology on any given day. Men are more likely to get news by cell phone, email, RSS feeds or podcasts than are women; men and women are equally likely to get news through Twitter or social networking sites.
The biennial news consumption survey was conducted June 8-28 on cell phones and landlines among 3,006 adults; more on methodology here.
"Clearly, ivi is operating in a legal gray area," the Wrap said. "It argues that its status as a cable company allows it to have servers set up in several markets -- initially New York and Seattle -- that receive transmissions of television signals that originated with other servers and then retransmit them through their app. Yet, because it is online only, ivi maintains it is not governed by the Federal Communication Commission and consequently does not have to pay retransmission fees in the way that a Comcast or Cablevision would."
WNET's programming is included in the schedule on ivi's website. Kellie Specter, spokesperson for Thirteen in New York City, told Current: "WNET doesn't have a partnership with ivi, so we're not sure why our content would be in their channel guide or listings."
Kevin Dando, PBS's director, digital and education communications, also told Current that PBS has no relationship with ivi.
On its website, ivi explains: "Since 2007, ivi has been hard at work innovating the way to bring TV online with the professional quality the very word television entails. ivi has patents pending for its content protection and consistent television viewing technologies, and is bringing TV online, wherever you want to be."
Sep 12, 2010
Sep 11, 2010
Sep 10, 2010
Kling, whose commitment to improving public radio service for listeners extended beyond Minnesota and encompassed both news and music formats, plans to leave APM in June 2011 to develop a new initiative aimed at building public media's regional news services.
"Most c.e.o.s count their years in office on the fingers of one hand," said Randall Hogan, MPR and APM board chair and c.e.o. of Minnesota-based Pentair, Inc. "Bill has twice run out of fingers and toes to mark his years of service but is nowhere out of ideas, commitment or passion."
"Journalism is at a crossroads and it's clearer every day that public media has a bigger role to play," Kling said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with public broadcasting leaders across the country on ideas to strengthen public media's regional newsgathering capacity."
"Sooner or later there has to be a transition, so this is the time when you would want to do it," Kling said in an MPR NewsQ story. "We have a balanced budget. We have a surplus this year. You wouldn't want to do it under difficult circumstances, so I think that makes sense."
The APM board has already initiated a search for Kling's successor by appointing a special committee and retaining an executive search team to identify internal and external candidates for the c.e.o. position. "We expect our search will attract a range of exceptional candidates--from within the company and elsewhere--who understand the landscape, who see the opportunities and who appreciate the special culture and team that has made 44 years of success possible and that is also key to our future," said Ian Friendly, chair of the succession committee and c.o.o. of U.S. retail for General Mills, Inc.
Additional links: Kling's 2007 benediction to Public Radio Program Directors conference, "Why haven't we grown more?"
Sep 9, 2010
The July 8 move was the the second time in nine months that MPB had yanked Gross’s cultural talk show from the air (Current, July 26, 2010).
Also, an MPB reporter's leak to a local alternative paper of the internal memo discussing the Fresh Air situation cost him his job. Carl Gibson sent the memo from his newsroom computer. The memo revealed that the network canceled the show within 24 hours of the broadcast of the interview in question.
The Post pointed to personal and business relationships of Program Director Mark McDonald, who is married to Melinda Wittstock of Capitol News Connection, a D.C.-based news bureau that produces news segments airing on WAMU. He also operates Pundit Media Consulting, a media training service. McDonald disclosed the conflicts of interest in accordance with WAMU policy and is recused from all editorial and business decisions regarding Capitol News Connection, and his consulting practice is separate business from Pundit Productions, the parent company of CNC that Wittstock owns, Mathes said in the statement.
Post media reporter Paul Farhi also pointed to WAMU commentaries by Brooks Rainwater, director of local relations for the American Institute of Architects, who received media training from McDonald's consultancy. Rainwater "independently" pitched his commentaries to WAMU News Director Asendio, Mathes said. "The audition was successful, and three commentaries from Mr. Brooks Rainwater were used. WAMU 88.5 editorial decisions are made independently."
"WAMU 88.5 management states unequivocally that neither Mr. McDonald’s marital relationship nor his personal business have influenced or impacted station coverage," Mathes said.