Oct 1, 2010

Racy postcards in Mr. Hooper's store? Who knew?

Writer David Fagin doesn't quite understand the furor over pop star Katy Perry's bustier on Sesame Street. He worked for the show several years back and reveals in a column on the AOL News opinion page that life behind the scenes is not quite as innocent as viewers might expect. Like when "certain members of the crew used to place postcards containing images of scantily clad women on the rack inside Mr. Hooper's grocery store." Or when the prop department snuck boxes of condoms next to the cereal in the store. And then there were the holiday parties: "Elmo and his pals would perform R-rated skits that would leave the audience in stitches. One of my favorites was the time Ernie and Bert finally came out of the closet. Good times." Shocked? Too bad Fagin won't talk about the really great stuff. "I can't dish the best dirt that went on behind the scenes," he wrote, "for fear of going straight to Muppet hell."

Craigslist founder predicts that NPR will be reporting powerhouse

NPR will be a dominant force in media in 10 years because its membership-based funding model is "finely tuned to the habits of millennial news consumers," said Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, at the Washington Ideas Forum Thursday (Sept. 30) at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. "I have a feeling that membership models and philanthropy models will be stronger than advertising-supported models, people will be willing to pay for news they can trust." Check out the video of his comments, as well as the entire session, on the Atlantic's website.

FEMA approves new emergency alert protocol; stations have 180 days to update

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday (Sept. 30) adopted the new digital message format for the Common Alerting Protocol standard, reports the Broadcast Law blog. That triggers the 180-day countdown for stations to update Emergency Alert System equipment to ensure that it is able to handle the new protocol. The format adoption is the latest step toward the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which expands the longtime alert system used by radio and television to other devices, including mobile phones and PC's. One pubradio staffer told Current that stations may pay up to $2,000 to update each full-power transmitter — "a pain for small operators who are struggling," he added.