Jul 8, 2010

APTS interim CEO meets with FCC officials to discuss spectrum

The board chairman and the interim head of the Association of Public Television Stations met with the FCC Wednesday (July 7) to talk spectrum. In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable, Lonna Thompson, APTS temporary CEO and general counsel, said she told officials that pubcasters were "open to ideas" and dialogue about maximizing the use of the spectrum, but not at the expense of the service stations provide. "[M]erely saying 'let's transition them all to broadband' isn't the answer because many of the audiences we serve don't have access to broadband," she said. APTS Board Chairman Rod Bates, g.m. of Nebraska Educational TV, "provided a first-hand pitch on the value of his spectrum," B&C said.

NPR's Nina Totenberg wins this year's Murrow Award

NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg is the recipient of this year's prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, CPB announced today (July 8). CPB has presented the honor since 1977 to individuals who "foster public radio's quality and service and shape its direction." It's named for the legendary newsman who championed high-quality journalism during his three-decade career. Totenberg has been with NPR for 35 years. Her reports air regularly on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition. And no doubt she's the only Murrow Award winner with a carry-all named after her: The Nina Totin' Bag. ("Due to extremely high demand ... now in its second edition!" points out the online NPR shop.)

UNC-TV turns over subpoenaed footage, data and records to state Senate

About a dozen North Carolina Senators on Tuesday (July 6) watched unaired news footage that the state's public TV network had been ordered to provide, reports Bloomberg Business Week. The subpoena from the Senate Judiciary Committee was part of its ongoing investigation into Alocoa's efforts to secure a new federal license for hydroelectric dams. UNC-TV on July 5 turned over news report footage, data and records on the issue, prior to broadcast. Steve Volstad, a spokesman for UNC-TV, told local TV station WRAL that the network decided not to fight the subpoena because state law requires public agencies to turn over information sought by any legislative committee, and UNC-TV attorneys weren't sure the footage would fall under the state's 1999 press shield law. The move to subpoena UNC-TV -- as well as the network's response -- was widely criticized locally, including editorials in the Winston-Salem Journal and the News & Record, as well as a column in the News & Observer.

PRX/WBUR local station app now on iTunes

The local pubcasting station iPhone app, announced in January, has been okayed by Apple and is now available in its iTunes store, says the Nieman Journalism Lab. It's a free download from PRX and WBUR in Boston. One cool feature: There’s also an alarm clock that will play WBUR to wake you up. That idea was suggested by a listener. Although this one is WBUR-centric, its developers hope other stations develop similar apps using its open-source license. Here's more info from PRX.

PBS earns 32 Primetime Emmy Award nominations; "Cranford" scores seven

Primetime Emmy nods are out and PBS was the fifth most-honored network with 32. Topping the list was HBO with 101, then ABC with 63, CBS with 57 and NBC with 48. Masterpiece's "Return to Cranford" (above) received seven nominations, The National Parks: America's Best Idea from Ken Burns had five, and "Emma" on Masterpiece scored four. A total of 512 nominations were announced early today (July 8). Visit the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences site for this complete list (PDF).

National Public Radio is no more

Well, it's official. National Public Radio is now just NPR, reports the Washington Post. "Much like the corporate names KFC or AT&T, the initials now stand for the initials," the paper notes. NPR hasn't formally announced the rebranding but has told its staff and affiliates to use only the initials on the air or online. NPR President Vivian Schiller first publicly mentioned the change in June at D8, the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital conference.