Jun 18, 2009

New York pubcaster inspires documentary

John Robinson is director of corporate support at WMHT in Troy, N.Y., where he supervises an underwriting staff of three. He's also the subject of the doc Get Off Your Knees: The John Robinson Story, which has its broadcast premiere tonight on the station. Robinson is a congenital amputee, born with stunted arms and legs. In addition to his pubcasting duties, he gives motivational speeches to school and community groups. "I'm never going to thumb wrestle with you, I'm never going to be the center of the basketball team," Robinson tells students in the film. "What matters is how I deal with the body I have and the person that I am."

Colorado Public Radio reduces then freezes wages

A 3 percent salary cut and subsequent 12-month salary freeze begin July 1 at Colorado Public Radio, reports the Denver Business Journal. CPR President Max Wycisk said in a statement that the changes will allow the statewide network to keep present staffing levels.

WHYY ends longtime show, terminates staffers, closes bureau

Philadelphia's WHYY is ending it 46-year-old nightly news show Delaware Tonight on July 17, reports the Wilmington News-Journal. Beginning in August there'll be expanded online news and a new weekly state public affairs show. Its two-year-old Dover bureau will close, and the Wilmington bureau, where Delaware Tonight is produced, will reduce its staff. All told, there'll be a decrease from 13 full-time and three part-time employees to five full timers; those remaining staffers will have a weeklong unpaid furlough starting July 18. Chris Satullo, WHYY's executive director of news and civic dialogue, said the moves are part of a transition from legacy radio and TV broadcasting to a multimedia source for news and entertainment. Although WHYY holds a broadcast license in Wilmington, its Delaware presence is targeted mainly to the major Philadelphia market. That annoys at least one resident -- Gov. Jack Markell. He issued a statement saying, "WHYY's decision to leave the daily airwaves leaves a critical hole for viewers and raises significant questions about their commitment to Delaware, which is where their FCC license is granted." But in a statement to Current, WHYY President and CEO William J. Marrazzo said the changes “will enable us to allocate resources to provide much more news online and to enhance the WHYY-FM news service with additional reports from Delaware."