Jan 30, 2009

Scott Jagow leaves air for blog

Marketplace Morning Report host Scott Jagow is departing as on-air host to become lead blogger for the APM show's website. He'll also be host of its weekly podcast, After the Bell.

Host reflects on Weekend America

"When you reach the end of an experience, it is right to ask, 'What have I learned?' " mulls Weekend America host John Moe. "And after five years of shows, fair question. What I've learned is patriotism." Read the rest of his comments bidding farewell to the APR show and its listeners.

Schiller took unconventional route to the top at NPR

Vivian Schiller, NPR’s new c.e.o., tells the American Journalism Review in a profile that her career as a tour guide in the Soviet Union prepared her for managing at media companies. “I think when I retire I’m going to write a book called Everything I Know I Learned as a Tour Guide, including how to lead the conga line.” On the subject of NPR’s future, she says: “I’ve been proselytizing a little bit about the incredible opportunity that NPR has that no other media organization has, to create a constellation of hyperlocal sites that provide inhabitants of communities with national news, local news and information tools for their communities. This has been sort of the Holy Grail for many media companies … and I think NPR’s the only organization that’s positioned to do it.”

Incoming temp FCC chair addresses staff

In a speech to FCC staff (PDF) this week, Acting Chairman Michael Copps stressed cooperation within the agency and transparency for the public. "The spectrum is theirs and the rest of us are stewards," he said. In the weeks ahead, he later added, "our three most important priorities will be, as you have heard me say already, DTV, DTV and DTV." However, he also said, "At this point, we will not have -- we cannot have -- a seamless DTV transition," due to "a patchwork of disjointed efforts."

Juan Williams: "a David Broder in black face"

NPR’s Juan Williams is “America’s most two-faced senior black correspondent,” writes Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman. (The “senior black correspondent” bit is a borrowed Daily Show joke.) Norman notes that on Fox News, Williams has joined the chorus of alarmist voices criticizing Michelle Obama. “Ironically, Williams probably considers his slander a form of racial tough love,” Norman writes. “I wonder if he secretly believes that knocking the first lady will earn him an invitation to the next soiree the president has with conservative commentators.”

Senator optimistic over date-delay passage

At least one senator is fairly certain the DTV delay House bill will pass next week. Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar is a supporter of the date change from Feb. 17 to June 12. "This is more than just about just watching TV for fun," she told C-SPAN's Communicators series on Jan. 30.

Online chat on special fund-raising events

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is hosting an online discussion, Planning Special Events During a Recession, at noon on Feb. 3. Possible topics: How can you make your event seem worthwhile in the current economy? What steps can you take to promote your event? What can you do to ensure that an event's participants will become active donors and volunteers? Stop by to post your questions, a transcript will be available after the discussion.

Nominate an outstanding pubradio engineer

Do you know a terrific public radio engineer? Nominate him or her for the annual Engineering Achievement Award, presented by the Association of Professional Radio Engineers. Former honorees include the late Wayne Hetrich, one of NPR’s 30 original employees. The honor will be presented at the annual NPR Labs/APRE Engineering Dinner in Las Vegas later this year. Deadline for nominations is March 1.

New play inspired by "Buster-gate"

Dusty and the Big Bad World, a play by Cusi Cram, writer for the PBS Kids series Arthur, opened last night in Denver. The satire, billed as "a wildly humorous story about bigotry and the censorship of 'Dusty,' a public television children's series about a dust ball," was inspired by Cram's experience with "Buster-gate," the national controversy about a segment of the Arthur spinoff Postcards from Buster that featured a girl in Vermont with two gay moms. PBS dropped the episode but many stations still aired it. In the play, the magic dust ball is caught between liberal and conservative forces and his pubTV producer has to choose between sacrificing her principles and keeping the show on the air.