Aug 10, 2007

In his PBS ombudsman column today, Michael Getler posts mailbag letters from Wayne Dyer believers and unbelievers. One skeptic wrote, "I'm seeing a disturbing trend in some of the programs that PBS is airing for the past several years. I've noticed a sudden increase in the number of "self-help" programs/characters such as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Robert Kiyosaki, Suze Orman and several others that seem to frequent the PBS channel."

Gelter also posted letters from NewsHour viewers who were unhappy with Judy Woodruff's segment on the new Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act bill. Several letters noted that Woodruff seemed uninformed, and her two guests did nothing to illuminate what the new bill actually meant. NewsHour executive producer Linda Winslow respnds to the criticisms: "I think Judy handled the 'discussion' well, in keeping with the NewsHour's style. ..."I do agree that ultimately the segment shed more heat than light on the subject. Unfortunately, that sometimes happens in the course of producing a live television program; you don't get a 'do-over' when things don't go as planned." Winslow also responded to questions about why coverage of the Democratic debate in Chicago seemed to leave out Bill Richardson: "I think we erred in not including a clip of what Governor Richardson said. Our production team was trying to capture the flavor of the debate (which I think they did) and that involved focusing primarily on the dynamic of the exchanges between Clinton, Edwards, and Obama."

FCC proposes cap for NCE applicants

The FCC is inviting comments on a proposal to cap the number of applications that a single party can file for noncommercial educational radio outlets during its Oct. 12-19 filing window for new FM stations. Limiting any single party to 10 applications "would deter speculation and permit the expeditious processing of the window-filed applications," the commission said in a public notice issued yesterday. Another public notice clarifies its NCE filing procedures and the point system the commission will use to award licenses.

OC Register: Pick not a protest

Ken Rusic, editor of the Orange County Register, says the editor who picked his nose on camera during a taping of KOCE-TV's Real Orange, wasn't doing so to protest recent lay-offs at the paper, as was suggested by previous reports. The veteran editor, named CP Smith, "did absent-mindedly stick his finger in his nose, just like all of us have done at one time," Rusic wrote. "Most of us don't get caught doing it on TV."

Sesame Street USA Today

In a story about Sesame Street's 38th season, USA Today reports that literacy will be "emphasized even more this year because of a rising gap in literacy and language skills between lower- and middle-income children." Also noted: Sesame Street "viewership, though down 7.5% since 2001, has averaged 8.3 million for the past decade — which is remarkable when competing with cable outlets such as Disney and Nickelodeon." The paper talked with celeb guests on the show this season, including CNN's Anderson Cooper (who does a newscast with Walter Cranky and Dan Rather-Not) and NBC's Brian Williams.