Apr 14, 2011

So much for "Something Different with Bill Moyers"

After PBS declined to designate the proposed show Something Different with Bill Moyers (w.t.) for common carriage, Moyers has withdrawn the program, according to the New York Times. Carnegie Corporation backed the concept with $2 million grant last month, opening the possibility that Moyers would come out of retirement to mount a new weekly production. "After discussions with my underwriters, we have decided to pursue other options and projects," Moyers explained in an e-mail to the Times. PBS plans to unveil its fall schedule to member stations next month, it said in a statement. "Until then, we'll continue to work with Bill and all of our talented producers to create an engaging and diverse program offering."

Bill on New Hampshire pubTV's state aid ruled "inexpedient"

Legislation to end state funding for New Hampshire Public Television got a thumbs-down recommendation from the Senate Finance Committee on April 13, according to On a 4-3 vote, the panel ruled that H.B. 133 is "inexpedient to legislate." The bill would eliminate $2.7 million in state subsidies to NHPTV, roughly a third of its budget. The bill still goes before the full Senate; a vote is expected this month.

Growing Bolder — and looking for a presenting station

The impending sale of WMFE-TV in Orlando to religious broadcaster Daystar leaves Growing Bolder without a presenting station. It's WMFE's only local production, shining a light on the older yet vibrant folks among us. The series started last season on 20 pubTV stations and is now up to 275. "We’re looking at this as a chance to move to a presenting station in a bigger market with more infrastructure to promote and secure underwriting," former local anchor Marc Middleton, who now heads Growing Bolder Media, tells the Orlando Sentinel. "WMFE has been a great partner, but without any staff on the TV side, we’ve had to do all the sales and marketing on our own. We’re looking forward to moving to a partner who will assume some of those responsibilities.”

Ken Burns, on why he "wakes up the dead"

What drives PBS documentarian Ken Burns to poke at history's ghosts? In a revealing, low-key interview in the current New York magazine, he reveals that his mother died when he was 11 and his only memories of her are while she was gravely ill. It’s that pain that he says prompted him to making docs, a medium that “psychologically worked for me. Some of the things we do are to keep the wolf from the door.”

After a bit more prodding, the mag notes, "Burns goes full Freud."

"I mean, I’ve talked to a psychiatrist about this. He said, 'Well, look what you do for a living. You wake the dead. Who do you think you’re really trying to wake up?'"