Oct 24, 2011

Charlie Rose talking to CBS about role on The Early Show

Longtime PBS talk-show host Charlie Rose says he's "having conversations" with CBS about possibly joining The Early Show, Rose revealed in a conversation with The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz."I'm intrigued by the fact that they want to do it differently," Rose says. "They understand that their success will not lie in duplicating what’s already on morning television."

Later, when the New York Times asked if that meant Rose might leave his namesake program, he replied, “not under any circumstances.”

APTS elects Bob Kerrey as trustee

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey has joined the board of trustees of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS). Kerrey, who also served as a governor of Nebraska, is currently chairman of M & F Worldwide Education Holdings, parent company of GlobalScholar, Scantron and Spectrum K-12. Prior to joining GlobalScholar, Kerrey was president of the New School University in New York City. “I believe public television has an especially important role to play in the education of our children — and also in public safety, job training and other essential public services," Kerrey said in a statement.

Stars turn out for Mark Twain Prize, to air on PBS

Fan of the red carpet? You'll enjoy PBS's photos from the Kennedy Center of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, awarded Sunday evening (Oct. 23) to comedian Will Farrell. Big-name stars attending included actors Paul Rudd, Ed Asner, Conan O'Brien, Adam Sandburg and Molly Shannon, as well as PBS NewsHour's Gwen Ifill. PBS members stations will air the show Oct. 31.

ITVS announces Global Perspectives selections

The Independent Television Service has chosen eight international documentary projects from its 2011 call for the Global Perspective Project. This year’s selections "provide extraordinary access and insight into the daily lives and struggles of people who live in Uruguay, Iran, China, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Myanmar and India," the CPB-backed ITVS said in a statement. Docs were selected from 476 submissions from 118 countries representing 72 languages. All eight are bound for the PBS series Independent Lens, P.O.V., and the international series Global Voices on the World channel. The 2012 ITVS International Call opens Nov. 1; deadline is Dec. 9.

Democracy Now! at 15 years: "People speaking for themselves"

The six-hour, live streaming news coverage by Democracy Now! of Georgia inmate Troy Davis's execution on Sept. 21 was viewed more than 800,000 times online, reports the New York Times in a profile of the show, which is celebrating its 15th year. The popularity of that reporting attests to "the hunger for this kind of information,” host Amy Goodman told the newspaper. “Yet there was no network that was there to cover this moment throughout the night.”

Some fans as well as critics describe the show as progressive, the Times notes, but Goodman rejects that label and instead says it's a newscast that has “people speaking for themselves.” She also criticizes networks that have counted on on pundits, rather than actual protesters, to discuss the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Michele Norris steps back from ATC post after husband accepts Obama campaign role

NPR's Michele Norris is leaving her co-hosting duties for All Things Considered until after the 2012 elections, due to husband Broderick Johnson's new position with President Obama's re-election campaign. "Given the nature of Broderick's position with the campaign and the impact that it will most certainly have on our family life," Norris said in a note to colleagues this morning (Oct. 24), "I will temporarily step away from my hosting duties until after the 2012 elections." NPR hasn't decided who will substitute for her. Norris said she will produce signature segments and features and working on new reporting projects. "While I will of course recuse myself from all election coverage, there's still an awful lot of ground that I can till in this interim role," she added. Johnson, an attorney in Washington, D.C., will be a senior adviser to the Obama campaign. He has long been involved in Democratic politics. In 2004 he was a senior adviser for congressional affairs in Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign. From 1998 to 2000 he served as President Clinton's deputy assistant for legislative affairs and in other roles.

Mattel acquires Kids Sprout channel partner HIT Entertainment

Toy giant Mattel is buying HIT Entertainment, part owner with PBS and Sesame Workshop of the Kids Sprout children's educational cable channel, for $680 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. With more than $180 million in annual revenue, HIT is one of the largest independent owners of intellectual property for preschoolers, holding titles including Thomas & Friends, Barney, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Angelina Ballerina. Sprout launched initially as a video on demand service on April 1, 2005, and became a cable and satellite channel in September 2005 (background, Current, Nov. 1, 2004).