Feb 22, 2010

Three Writers Guild Awards for PBS shows

PBS won three Writers Guild of America Awards on Saturday night, which honored outstanding achievement in television, radio, news, promotional writing and graphic animation during the 2009 season. Frontline's “The Madoff Affair” took the Documentary–Current Events honor; American Experience won for "The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer" for Documentary–Other Than Current Events; and Bill Moyers Journal scored in the News–Analysis, Feature of Commentary, for its segment “A Private War: Expose: America's Investigative Reports.” Announcements were made in simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles (Writers Guild, West) and New York City (Writers Guild, East). A list of winners is available at the Writers Guild website.

Ferro moves up to lead KCRW

Jennifer Ferro is the new g.m. of Los Angeles’ KCRW-FM, following her formal approval by the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Saturday. “Jennifer epitomizes the perfect mix of traditional public radio experience and the strategic and creative new media thinking that will be critical to KCRW’s continued success in the years ahead,” said Chui L. Tsang, president of the college, in a press release. KCRW is licensed to the school. Ferro joined KCRW in 1991 as a volunteer arts reporter and since 1997 worked as assistant g.m. to outgoing station chief Ruth Seymour, who announced her retirement in November. “Jennifer is an ideal choice to lead the station forward,” Seymour said. “She’s innovative, courageous and independent. … She will make a terrific manager and I look forward to a KCRW under her leadership.” Ferro told the Santa Monica Daily Press that she does not plan any major changes to the station’s signature lineup of news, public affairs and cutting-edge music. She does plan to increase major gifts and support for independent producers, the Los Angeles Times reported. Look for more coverage in Current’s March 1 issue. UPDATE: Seymour appeared on KPCC's Air Talk last week to discuss her legacy: "I’m very much about the present, responding to the moment. And I think that’s the art of radio — that it isn’t about the past and it isn’t about the future, but it’s about now, and capturing 'now.'" Also, Ferro will appear on KCRW's The Politics of Culture at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time tomorrow (Feb. 23) to talk about the station. Stream available at KCRW's website.

Proposed Minnesota funding cuts would hit pubTV and radio

PubTV and radio in Minnesota are in for less funding if Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposed budget is adopted, according to the Duluth News Tribune. The plan puts forth some $1.4 million reductions for TV, and for radio, $287,000 in service grants, $100,000 in equipment grants and $250,000 of equipment grants for Minnesota Public Radio; indie KUMD 103.3 FM in Duluth would also be subject to those cuts. WDSE-TV station manager Al Harmon told the paper that would mean staff cuts at the station and the end of some local programming. Harmon said state grants make up about 10 percent of WDSE’s operating budget, and 20 percent of the salaries for the station’s 30 employees. Similar reductions are happening in state budgets across the country (Current, Jan. 25, 2010).

Coach's famous glasses net $9,000 for Penn State Broadcasting

Thanks to a pair of Joe Paterno's trademark black glasses, Penn State Broadcasting is $9,000 richer. The much-loved Penn State University's football coach donated the glasses for the station's Connoisseur's Dinner and Auction. WPSU seems to be working its way around the much-loved coach's body, already having auctioned autographed khaki pants, white socks, sneakers and neckties from several bowl games.