Sep 26, 2011

WAMU's Fred Fiske, 91, to retire this week

Fred Fiske, senior commentator at WAMU 88.5 in Washington, D.C., is retiring at age 91 on Tuesday (Sept. 27), which marks his 64th anniversary on the local airwaves. "It's been a wonderful ride," he said in his final commentary on Monday. Fiske started on radio as a child actor in the 1930s. His career includes serving as a presidential announcer and veteran affairs commentator for Mutual Broadcasting, providing live coverage of the inaugurations of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. During the 1950s, Fiske hosted a midday pop music program at Mutual's WWDC, and soon became Washington’s highest-rated music host. He arrived at WAMU in 1977. He'll be honored at WAMU 88.5’s 50th anniversary gala on Oct. 29.

CoastAlaska creates Radio to Go for stations affected by disasters

In response to several recent disasters worldwide, CoastAlaska has developed two small portable FM radio stations for use by pubcasters in the state, called Radio to Go. The nonprofit, a service partnership among seven stations, developed the portable radio setup in case a transmitter or studio building is put out of service. The FCC-compliant portable stations can be set up and broadcasting on the air in a matter of minutes, CoastAlaska says.

The two units will be located in separate communities in shipping cases that can be loaded onto a Coast Guard helicopter, commercial flight or marine transportation. Cost per unit is about $10,000, including shipping cases, a 150 watt FM radio transmitter, CD players, digital audio recorder, radio tuner, mixer and microphones, cables and transmitting antenna and mast.

PubTV's "Catholicism" series is "game-changing reality TV," columnist writes

The upcoming public TV series Catholicism gets an early and enthusiastic review from Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor-at-large of National Review Online. "It is openly a work of evangelization (complete with available study guides and a prayer card), and is done in a way that is welcoming to a wide potential audience," she writes. "Catholicism is classic, revolutionary, and plausibly — like the Gospels themselves — game-changing reality TV." Chicago's WTTW is sponsoring station, premiering four of the program's 10 parts; it's distributed by Executive Program Services. Catholicism was filmed in more than 50 locations in 15 countries over two years. The host is Father Robert Barron, a professor at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein (Ill.) Seminary and a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago; executive producer is filmmaker Mike Leonard, also a veteran correspondent for NBC’s Today show and producer of the pubTV series Ride of Our Lives.