Mar 28, 2008

Salt Lake's KCPW has a shot at keeping its license

The financially pinched owner of Salt Lake City news station KCPW-AM/FM has signed a letter of intent to sell its two FM licenses to a new nonprofit started by the station’s g.m., Ed Sweeney, the station reported today. If Wasatch Public Media, the new nonprofit, can’t fulfill its bargain, however, the station will be sold to a big religious broadcaster, EMF Broadcasting. Wasatch agreed to pay $2.4 million. The AM channel will go to another religious broadcaster, IHR Educational Broadcasting, for $1.3 million. The seller, based at KPCW in nearby Park City, is taking a loss on the AM station; it spent $2.5 million to buy and build it. Selling the Salt Lake frequencies marks a major retreat for Park City’s Community Wireless, which was flying so high four years ago that it paid $1.1 million to its g.m. and his wife.

Viewer reaction to "Bush's War" is mixed

In his PBS ombudsman column, Michael Getler features nearly 30 of the letters he received about Frontline's two-part Iraq war retrospective, "Bush's War." One Alaska viewer writes, "Thank you for running the story about Bush's war. I serve in the U.S. Army. I will be starting my third tour in a month." But about half the letters are critical of the program for being either one-sided or not in-depth enough. Getler's take is that while the doc offered a "visual and audible whole that simply does not exist elsewhere," there were holes--more time should have been devoted to assessing the "surge," Gen. David Patraeus was noticeably absent, and the death toll isn't mentioned, among other things. Getler posts producer Michael Kirk's responses to his concerns. "Bush's War" reports what is known, says Kirk, and evaluation of the efficacy of the surge is outside the scope of the doc. (See Current's story on Frontline's war coverage here.)