Mar 7, 2008

Spiegel wins National Journalism Award for post-Katrina coverage

Public radio’s Alix Spiegel has won a National Journalism Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation for “Stuck and Suicidal in a Post-Katrina Trailer Park”, a piece that aired last year on NPR’s All Things Considered. (Full list of award winners.)

Does Andrew W.K. now get an obscure nickname?

Rocker Andrew W.K. has written a song for public radio’s Fair Game with lyrics based on the words of John McLaughlin, host of The McLaughlin Group. Listen to “McLaughlin Groove” here.

CBS online exc moving to NPR

Dick Meyer, editorial director at, announced yesterday in his online column that he is moving to NPR. Meyer didn’t specify which post he’ll assume, but reports that Meyer will serve as editorial director for digital media.

Nickelodeon vet takes over at Hit

Variety reports a change in the top job at Hit Entertainment. CEO Bruce Steinberg is stepping down, and Jeffrey Dunn, a former c.o.o. at Nickelodeon, is taking over. Dunn created Noggin with Sesame Workshop while at Nickelodeon, the mag reports. Hit, a partner with PBS in Sprout, owns Barney and Bob the Builder, among other shows.

WYPR board chair cites disagreements in Steiner firing

The dismissal of talk show host Marc Steiner from WYPR-FM in Baltimore was related to internal disagreements, reports the Baltimore Business Journal. “It became obvious that attempts to resolve disagreements on a variety of matters had failed,” wrote board chair Barbara Bozzuto in an e-mail to WYPR members. “Declining ratings were emphasized as the reason for the show’s cancellation out of a desire to avoid any public discussion of complicated personnel issues.” Steiner tells the paper he was unaware of the issues cited. In the Baltimore Sun, a WYPR board member defends the decision. "Board members were aware that this decision would likely engender a vocal, negative reaction," writes John Machen. "The decision was made mindful of these potential consequences."

Reasons for Stern's exit have more to do with dimensons of leadership than his stance on digital media

In a New York Times story on Ken Stern's departure from NPR, board Chairman and interim CEO Dennis Haarsager downplays the notion that Stern's undoing was his push to put NPR content on multiple digital media platforms. Haarsager agrees that Stern's digital agenda didn't have wide backing within pubradio, but says the digital issue was “not a source of tension” that led to his exit. “[T]here are about 20 different dimensions you evaluate leadership on,” Haarsager tells the Times. NPR has not conducted a national search for a top executive in 10 years and decided to do so "sooner rather than later." NPR's latest story adds some context. "Interviews with eight current and former public radio officials suggest Stern failed to convince local stations — and especially their representatives on the board — that he saw a clear and healthy role for them in the digital future." Robert Paterson offers some advice to the system on his blog: "Acknowledge that we are stuck and begin a conversation about why we are stuck and ask what would unstick us."