Sep 30, 2003

Noncommercial radio broadcasters can apply to the FCC to reserve certain vacant FM allotments. The deadline is Nov. 21. (PDF.)
As the number of TV channels grows, the number that the average household watches grows much more slowly, illustrating the squeeze on audience size. It's now 15 out of 102. In terms of percentage, that's a new low of 15 percent, reports MediaPost. (Thanks to Benton Foundation for the link.)
KCET, Los Angeles, has backed out of a joint bid for the license of KOCE in Orange County, the Los Angeles Times reported. The public TV station's licensee, Coast Community College District, is expected to choose a buyer Oct. 15. This leaves KOCE's nonprofit fundraising arm competing against higher bids from three religious broadcasters.

Sep 29, 2003

"It wasn't until I was 28 that I could write confidently," says Ira Glass in ReadyMade. "I had been living with a woman for seven years who thought I was a moron. The day after she moved out, I wrote my first good story."
Kentucky's Georgetown College is going to sell WRVG, its public radio station. Since this article was published, Current has learned that a group of station members has expressed interest in buying the station.
A retired physics professor and former Republican state legislator wants license holders to clamp down on a lefty bias that he discerns in programs broadcast by Montana PBS, according to AP.

Sep 26, 2003

The Blues, a seven-film PBS series debuting Sept. 28, is "overreaching and uneven," writes New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell. He faults the series for ignoring the racial shift of the music's fans. "[T]hat Chuck D finally appears on public television at a time when Public Enemy is as safe an oldies act as B. B. King may offer a hint as to what's in store."

Sep 25, 2003

Some record labels and music publishers complain that PBS is underpaying the artists featured in its upcoming series The Blues, according to the New York Times.
Information about the upcoming Pacifica elections is online.

Sep 24, 2003

WABE-FM in Atlanta is standing by the classical music format, even as other public radio stations trade it in for more news, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The article sparked exchanges among news and classical fans in the AJC's letters pages (Sept. 14, Sept. 21). Also weighing in: a communications professor suggests Atlanta's public stations cooperate to provide diverse formats.
"The paradox is that the thing that burns me out is the thing that keeps me going," says NPR's Terry Gross in the Sacramento Bee.

Sep 23, 2003

A Baltimore Sun op-ed makes the case for eliminating taxpayer support for PBS.
NPR ought to correct its imbalanced coverage of the Democratic presidential candidates, argues Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin in his latest column.

Sep 18, 2003

USA Today says Naked in Baghdad, the new book by NPR's Anne Garrels, is an "engaging and instructive diary." (Via Romenesko.)

Sep 16, 2003

The Columbia Journalism Review profiles the low-power FM movement. CJR's website also features an interview with Pete Tridish of the Prometheus Radio Project, the low-power advocacy group that recently won a stay on the FCC's new media ownership rules. "I really hope that NPR comes to its senses on this issue," he says of the network's stance on LPFM.
Barring yet another internecine squabble or legal challenge, the board of the Pacifica Foundation has passed new bylaws. By some estimates, the bylaws make Pacifica the world's most democratic media organization, granting its listeners, staff members and volunteers a role in electing local and national boards.

Sep 11, 2003

The FCC has adopted rules for digital "plug and play" cable compatibility, which will allow viewers to plug their cable directly into their digital TV sets without the need for a set-top box. (PDF.)

Sep 9, 2003

Torey Malatia, president of Chicago Public Radio, chats tonight at 8 pm Eastern Time on the website of the Association of Independents in Radio.

Sep 5, 2003

Discovery Communications plans to expand delivery of its media content to schools through its acquisition of United Learning, a major partner with public TV stations in delivering streamed instructional content to schools.
"From the very moment the troops came in on the ground it was clear not enough thought had gone into what would happen when the war was over," says NPR's Anne Garrels about Iraq in the Buffalo News. (Via Romenesko.)

Sep 4, 2003

Want to know who owns a station or cable company? The Center for Public Integrity, an investigative outfit in Washington, D.C., has put 65,000 scraps of FCC info into a searchable database at Data on commercial stations is extensive, on public stations incomplete.

Sep 3, 2003

Record label honchos salivate over PBS's upcoming musical extravaganza, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues, in a Billboard wire story. "If the films convey the excitement and the intensity of emotion of blues, then people will want the music," says Bruce Iglauer, owner of Chicago-based label Alligator Records.