May 19, 2006

WDET g.m. pleads no contest to embezzlement charges

Michael Coleman, g.m. at WDET in Detroit, pled no contest to a reduced embezzlement charge Thursday and "faces up to 93 days in jail and $500 fine when he is sentenced June 22," according to the Ann Arbor News. The charge stemmed from Coleman's tenure as deputy director of Michigan Public Media, during which he and two colleagues kept Persian rugs, event tickets, a pool table and other donated goods and services for themselves, according to an internal audit by the University of Michigan, the station's license holder. Coleman has agreed to pay $3500 in restitution to his former employer. WDET will retain him as g.m. despite the plea, station officials say. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as a guilty conviction for sentencing purposes. Justin Ebright, former MPR development director, was sentenced to two years probation, 50 hours of community service and $10,000 restitution. Former account executive Jeremy Nordquist still awaits trial, according to the Associated Press (via

PBR sponsors NPR

Pabst Blue Ribbon, the former bottom-shelf beer that has become a hipster beverage of choice in recent years, is now underwriting NPR's All Songs Considered, reports the Boston Herald.

Senate votes to raise indecency fines

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Thursday that would increase FCC radio and television indecency fines tenfold, from $32,500 to $325,000 per offense, reports Multichannel News. A House version would raise naughty word fines to $500,000. Congress has threatened to dramatically raise indecency penalties since Janet Jackson's breast sparked a furor about broadcast decency standards in 2004, but the two houses still need to reconcile differences between the bills and pass a final measure before new levels can go into effect.