Feb 22, 2008

Steiner fracas continues in Baltimore

Three weeks after Baltimore's WYPR-FM dumped Marc Steiner, fans of the longtime talk-show host are still registering their dissatisfaction. Online hubs of activity include the glitzy Bring Steiner Back and the somewhat humbler Save the Steiner Show. Supporters of Steiner can also sign a petition, buy T-shirts and join a Facebook group. More than 300 Steiner fans attended a meeting of WYPR's Community Advisory Board Feb. 20 to voice their unhappiness, reports the Baltimore Sun. "Without Marc Steiner, I don't listen to WYPR," said one. "I'm not going to renew my membership unless Marc Steiner is back on the air." Reflecting on the meeting on his blog, Steiner wrote, "This is about community, about building community and a radio show that drew diverse communities together." Here's audio from the meeting (MP3).

Pittsburgh station swap gets new wave of attention

Recent coverage of Sen. John McCain's conflicts of interest has refocused attention on his role in the attempted sale of WQEX-TV, sister station of Pittsburgh's WQED, and his ties to lobbyist Vicki Iseman, who was involved in the deal. Iseman was "terrific, very aggressive and very supportive of what we were trying to do," said WQED President George Miles in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article. In a defense of McCain published on the Huffington Post, Lanny Davis, WQED's lobbyist at the time, says "what I wanted Senator McCain to do, he refused to do. And he did so out of a concern of appearances of impropriety. That is a fact." (Earlier coverage in Current of the WQEX sale.) UPDATE: Today's Democracy Now! features an interview with Angela Campbell, the attorney for the community groups that tried to block the sale of WQEX.

Mundt heads to Louisville

Todd Mundt, until recently the director of content and media for upstart network Iowa Public Radio, is leaving for the Public Radio Partnership in Louisville, Ky. He'll serve as director of new media strategies at the Partnership. Donovan Reynolds, president of the three-station network, previously worked with Mundt while head of Michigan Public Media in Ann Arbor.

New Hampshire pubTV splits from university

New Hampshire Public Television is separating from the The University System of New Hampshire, reports the Portsmouth Herald News. USNH will continue to hold NHPTV's broadcasting license, but the station's board will take over management of day-to-day operations, including employment. Steps to make NHPTV, which has been part of the university since 1960, a separate nonprofit will take place over the next year. "This change is an opportunity for NHPTV to more nimbly adapt and respond to viewer needs and interests," said station head Peter A. Frid, "and to provide targeted educational programs, partnerships and services to the greater New Hampshire community."