Apr 19, 2011

Lynn Allen dies; Idaho public broadcaster, Community Cinema pioneer

Lynn Allen of Boise, Idaho, a former longtime employee of Idaho Public Television, died unexpectedly March 28 on vacation in Mexico, after a sudden illness. She was 68.

In recent years, Allen coordinated the Independent Television Service’s Community Cinema program in the state for IdahoPTV. Boise, Idaho, was the launch city six years ago for the outreach, now the largest engagement initiative in pubcasting with 100 markets nationwide screening Independent Lens features and hosting discussions. ITVS compiled a short tribute video about Allen here.

Allen arrived at IdahoPTV in 1980 shortly before it became a statewide system. She worked four years as administrative assistant to the general manager before assuming duties as the system’s first personnel manager. She wrote the network’s original policy manual.

In 1987, Allen became station manager at KAID, IdahoPTV for southwest and central Idaho. By 1995 she took over as outreach director and Ready to Learn coordinator, responsible for statewide community activities. After leaving IdahoPTV as an employee in 2002, she contracted to manage grants for Ready to Learn and other educational programs for IdahoPTV, in addition to her work with ITVS.

“During her more than a quarter of a century of service to Idaho Public Television, Lynn brought great wisdom and knowledge to the educational mission of our statewide system,” IdahoPTV General Manager Peter Morrill said. “She will be sorely missed by her friends at IdahoPTV and across the state.”

She was born Nov. 11, 1942, in Indiana. She graduated from Leavenworth (Kan.) High School, and received a bachelor’s degree from University of Kansas in 1964. She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

Allen was involved in “service organizations too numerous to mention,” according to her Idaho Statesman obituary, which also said she was an avid bridge player, loved traveling and was a champion for children's early learning.

Survivors include her husband, Dick C. Allen; two daughters, Lisa Hettinger and Christine Henkel; three grandchildren; and her brother, Charles F. Greever III. The family suggests memorials to Idaho Public Television, the Boise Women's and Children's Alliance, or the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. A memorial is scheduled for April 30 at the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise. (Image: ITVS)

Sale of Houston's KTRU clears FCC

The FCC rejected a petition to block the license transfer of Rice University's student-operated radio station KTRU-FM, clearing the way for the controversial $9.5 million sale to close later this month. The University of Houston's KUHF will take over the college station's 91.7 MHz frequency and launch a full-time classical music service under the call letters KUHC.

Friends of KTRU, a group of students, alumni and other supporters who mounted spirited protests of the sale last summer, took its challenge all the way to the FCC. But, in a decision released April 15, the commission dismissed the Friends' petition, which objected to the transfer as a set back for broadcast localism and diversity in noncommercial educational radio.

"The decision shows a lack of commitment on the part of the FCC to its own public statements regarding the importance of localism and diversity in American broadcast media," Friends of KTRU said in a statement.

Rice students will be giving up their analog broadcast channel, but not their station. They will continue to program KTRU as an Internet radio station and HD Radio channel of Pacifica's KPFT in Houston, broadcasting on 90.1-HD2 FM.

Classical KUHC will originate from KUHF's studios on campus and should launch within the next month, according to Richard Bonnin, U-Houston spokesman.

Radio Survivor published a detailed analysis of the FCC decision.

Washington University gets $550,000 grant to preserve "Eyes on the Prize"

The original Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, the critically acclaimed 1987 documentary on PBS, will be preserved with a $550,000 donation from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Washington University in St. Louis Library announced today (April 19). The four-year grant will support work to copy the images from acetate-based film, highly susceptible to decay, to a more stable, polyester-based film. Included in the project are the documentary's complete, unedited interviews. The original film and interview footage were donated to the University Libraries in 2001 as part of the Henry Hampton Collection, one of the largest archives of civil rights media in the United States. The filmmaker is a native of St. Louis (Current's 1998 obituary). An updated version of the film, tracing the history up to 1985, ran last year on American Experience.