Sep 14, 2011

New Hampshire Public Television discussing collaboration with WGBH

New Hampshire Public Television is in collaboration talks with WGBH, as well as stations in Vermont and Maine, according to Foster's Daily Democrat, which covers New Hampshire and Maine. Grace Lessner, spokesperson for NHPTV, confirmed the discussions but said no further details are available. Jeanne Hopkins, vice president of Communications at WGBH, told the paper: "We're in conversation to see if there's ways to collaborate. We're looking at if there are things that would make sense."

In June, NHPTV laid off 20 full-time employees in an effort to offset a loss of about $2.7 million in state funding. That's about a 30 percent reduction for the station's $8.8 million operating budget.

Lessner told Current in a Sept. 15 email: "NHPTV and WGBH are exploring a new model for operating that involves both content and infrastructure, and builds capacity in a way to better serve our local audiences. In addition, for the past two years NHPTV has been discussing ways to collaborate with other New England PTV stations in different ways. For example, we partnered with MPBN and VPT on a year-long series called “Making $ense New England.” We are looking to build on that success. Our loss of state funding as of July 1 this year has accelerated our discussions. CPB is providing encouragement in this process, and both CPB and PBS are aware of these conversations. At this point, we have no details to share, and it will be several months before specifics are available." Mark Erstling, CPB's senior vice president for system development, told Current that CPB is providing support for financial analysis but did not provide a figure.

KCRW unveils new mode of music discovery

KCRW, the Los Angeles station whose taste-making sensibilities for new music extend from its airwaves to digital platforms, is releasing its first iPad app today.

Music Mine, offered for free in the iPad app store, displays up to 100 artists that have been recommended by the station's deejays. Users can listen to a deejay's full show, learn more about the featured artists or -- for those who want a "lean-back" music experience -- tap into KCRW's all-music stream Eclectic 24.

The app was designed as a "new mode of music discovery" -- one that departs from long-form audio content of KCRW radio broadcasts yet still provides "a human-curated experience that is knowledgeable, passionate, unpredictable and even quirky," said Anil Dewan, KCRW director of new media.

To develop Music Mine, KCRW tapped Public Radio Exchange, a leading producer of software applications for public media companies, and the digital design firm Roundarch. The app is built on the Echo Nest music platform that provides music applications for a variety of media companies.

"Sloppiness" led to NewsHour transcript misunderstanding, PBS ombudsman finds

There is no evidence that PBS altered a transcript of President Obama's recent speech to Congress to cover a "major gaffe by the president," PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler writes. However, he adds that leaving the prepared remarks on the NewsHour website "from Thursday night until bloggers, and the ombudsman, shook their tree Saturday morning — long after the White House and the [New York] Times had published actual transcripts — was a serious lapse." During the speech, Obama mistakenly said that Abraham Lincoln was the "founder" of the Republican party, but that statement was not in the original transcript supplied by the White House and posted by NewsHour.

"I think any fair-minded person, and I hope I'm one of them, would accept this as an unfortunate sequence of events, compounded by some carelessness and sloppiness by the NewsHour and PBS," Getler says.