Jan 13, 2009

Stations must be involved in broadband future, Liroff says

"If we were starting out today as public service media," said David Liroff, "universal broadband would be our distribution method of choice." Liroff, former CPB sr. v.p. and longtime pubmedia analyst, opened this week's NETA conference Jan. 13 in Tampa with his keynote speech. He discussed how universal broadband will affect pubmedia for better and worse, and what role the industry should play during development of the nationwide high-speed network. It's absolutely necessary for stations to get involved at the state level during planning for increased broadband access, he contends, because pubmedia "needs to ensure that the public interest is served" in broadband decisions. "There are elephants on the field; the telecom companies are driving innovation." An archive of several of Liroff's previous speeches may be found here.

Jim Lehrer to quiz Cheney tomorrow night

Jim Lehrer will conduct an extended interview with outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney about his past eight years in office tomorrow night on The NewsHour. Anne Bell, public relations manager, says producers expect the interview to be at least 20 minutes long. 

Fire at WNIT-TV in Elkhart, Ind.

A fire destroyed the programming, business and development offices of WNIT-TV on Sunday, but the broadcast facilities in a separate building were not affected. No staff members were injured and the station remains on the air. See a photo and updates on the station's website. The cause of the fire remains undetermined. 

Worldfocus Radio debuts tonight

Worldfocus, the international news program from WNET.ORG (WNET/WLIW), is launching Worldfocus Radio on the online radio network BlogTalkRadio. The 30 minute interview and call-in show, hosted by anchor Martin Savidge, will air Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. (ET). Listeners can call in or join a live online chat. Podcasts will also be available via iTunes. Tonight's show will bring in experts to talk about the history of the conflict in Gaza.

ITVS film wins Golden Globe

"Waltz with Bashir," an ITVS International animated doc, won the Best Foreign Language Film at the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards Jan. 11. It's the latest in a long line of honors for the Israeli film, including recent prizes from the Critic's Choice Awards, National Society of Film Critics and, on Jan. 12, the LA Film Critics Association.

Obama names choice for FCC chief

President-elect Barack Obama has selected his former Harvard classmate Julius Genachowski to head up the FCC. Genachowski, 46, was chief counsel for former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt. He also is credited for directing Obama's impressive online campaign strategy.

Former KQEDer on pubmedia's challenges

Media analyst and blogger David Weir, a former v.p. at KQED, mulls "What's at Stake With Public Broadcasting." He says although he usually writes on private-sector media, "Every time I mention NPR ... my in-box explodes with reader reaction."