Aug 5, 2010

And now, in the center ring . . .

The "Circus" came to town today (Aug. 5) courtesy of PBS at the ongoing TCA Summer Press Tour in Los Angeles. The six-part series from the folks who brought you "Carrier" premieres in November. We get the feeling that PBS provided the only upside-down balancing gentleman onstage in the entire Press Tour. Because if PBS didn't do it, who would? (PBS photo, Jake Landis)

Will KCET secede from PBS?

For our RSS subscribers, don't miss the story just posted on on KCET's possible departure from PBS as of Jan. 1, 2011. The move could leave the network without a station committed to air the bulk of its schedule in the nation’s second-largest media market. And it would be the first departure of a major-market member in the network’s history.

TV faves turn out for PBS "Pioneers of Television" panel at Press Tour

A roomful of TV talent assembled Wednesday (Aug. 4) at a panel and reception for PBS's "Pioneers of Television" at the TCA Summer Press Tour in Los Angeles. Generating the star wattage was, in front, Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek and Robert Conrad of Wild Wild West. Back row, Mission Impossible's Martin Landau, Mike Connors of Mannix and Linda Evans of Dynasty. (PBS photo, Jake Landis)

NPR intern recovering from knife attack

In a random attack in the Chinatown neighborhood near NPR's Washington, D.C., headquarters, an NPR intern was stabbed in the neck yesterday morning by a young woman who appeared to be in a hypnotic trance, WJLA News reports. Several good samaritans came to the rescue of Annie Ropeick, a Boston University junior who is interning at NPR this summer, and one man tackled the suspect and held her down until police arrived. Ropeick, whose family lives in the D.C. region, is recovering at Howard University Hospital. "The entire staff is shocked and deeply concerned, and we are maintaining close contact with the family," NPR said in a statement. Police have charged the suspect, 24-year-old Melodie Brevard of Southeast Washington, with assault with intent to kill. Investigators have yet to determine a motive for the attack, according to the Washington Post.

Complex UNC-TV story picks up even more plot twists

The already twisty-turny tale of UNC-TV turning over documents to a North Carolina General Assembly committee (Current, July 26) is becoming even more of a pretzel. Laura Leslie of WUNC-FM in Chapel Hill, who's keeping close tabs on the ever-evolving mess of UNC-TV, Alcoa dams, and the state's reporter shield law, reports several very puzzling developments:

— Local commercial TV station WRAL — whose CEO, Jim Goodmon, vociferously opposed UNC-TV's decision, on July 27 filed a public records request of its own for the same documents from the station. Then Wednesday (Aug. 4) it withdrew the request, citing ... you guessed it, the state's reporter shield law, which Goodmon had insisted protected UNC-TV.

— Also yesterday, "just about every news outlet in Raleigh" was provided, by Alcoa, with an unpublished draft of a critique of two parts of the three-part series — now removed from the UNC-TV site, by the way — written by a panel of UNC journalism profs. UNC-TV had asked for the review, but then withdrew that request.

— Perhaps the strangest of all is just who provided that report to Alcoa: Hugh Stevens, Counsel Emeritus for the NC Press Association and immediate past president of the NC Open Government Coalition. He used, yes, a public records request, which he said UNC-TV had opened itself to by turning over the documents to lawmakers in the first place.

Leslie has links to all the various documents in her blog posting.

UPDATE: Welcome back to the ongoing adventures. Leslie checked with UNC-TV about the sudden disappearance of the series from its website and received this statement from a station rep: "We removed the videos that were posted on the North Carolina Now website yesterday (Aug. 4) because as 'point of view' pieces they are not representative of the typical content of North Carolina Now, and we concluded that it was no longer appropriate to distribute them through the site. " They're gone from YouTube as well, Leslie noted.