Feb 23, 2010

PBS, your source for baseball talent

Now that baseball spring training is under way, eager fans are counting the hours until opening day. While spectators will be eating hot dogs in the bleachers, some PBSers will take to the field in their National Adult Baseball Association (NABA) league. KCET/Los Angeles President and CEO Al Jerome (at left in photo) formed the California Blue Jays team in 2002 and recruited athletic talent from around the system, including the strong double-play combination of shortstop Lloyd Wright (president and CEO of WFYI/Indianapolis, Ind., right in photo) and second baseman Andy Russell (senior v.p., PBS Ventures, center in photo). Former team members have included Mel Rogers of KOCE/Huntington Beach, Calif., and Jeff Clarke of KQED/San Francisco. The far-flung players practice on their own using local batting cages and, no doubt, family members drafted into playing catch. The California Blue Jays come together for one week each year to compete; Wright reports that last fall they won the 1A Division of NABA National Tournament in Las Vegas. Jerome, whom Wright calls "a crafty southpaw," was starting pitcher; Russell and Wright were the team's top two hitters in the tourney. Quips Wright: "You might say these executives are 'out standing in their field.'"

Youth Radio: media training without that "school-like feel"

"Peer teaching is at the heart of Youth Radio," Jacinda Abcarian, executive director of the Oakland-based media program, tells San Francisco Chronicle. "You don't get that school-like feel; there are no adults talking down to you." In a feature noting the organization's 10th anniversary, music journalist Ben Fong-Torres reports on Youth Radio's growth from a tiny storefront operation in Berkeley to a media training ground that has served "some 10,000 urban kids," produced news reports for NPR and other major news outlets, and established radio streams for musical expression and health concerns.

New three-part "Upstairs, Downstairs" coming next year

New episodes of the 1970s PBS hit Upstairs, Downstairs are coming to Masterpiece in 2011 as part of a co-production deal with BBC World Sales and Distribution, Americas, the partners announced in a press release today. There'll also be a 21st-century version of Sherlock Holmes, and three Aurelio Zen mysteries about a fictional Italian detective. The original Upstairs, Downstairs won seven Emmys including a best actress for Jean Marsh; she'll recreate her role of Rose the parlor maid. The three-part series will be set in the same house. The new episodes take place in 1936, advancing the storyline that left off in 1930. Read more in the UK's Guardian.