Nov 15, 2011

USDA's Rural Utilities Service announces $4.75 million in grants to pubTV stations

Public television stations serving rural areas are receiving $4.75 million in grants to complete the digital transition, according to Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager. Fifteen licensees will get between $25,540 and $750,000 for projects under the Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program. Money may be used to acquire, lease, and/or install facilities and software necessary to finish the digital transition, the USDA's Rural Utilities Service said in a statement. The funding is especially valuable in the wake of the end of the 49-year-old Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (Current, April 18).

Swartz departs "Nova" for Discovery Channel post

Howard Swartz, executive producer of Nova, is joining Discovery Channel, effective immediately. He'll be vice president of development and production at Discovery, a new position. Swartz will be based at the channel's Los Angeles office to develop and supervise production of Curiosity. Swartz had joined Nova in January 2010. Swartz also worked at National Geographic Channel on programs including Explorer, Five Years on Mars and Inside the Living Body.

Attention RSSers: Bill Moyers speech transcript now online

A speech by longtime public broadcasting newsman Bill Moyers is an inspirational experience for listeners (and readers), and his remarks at the American Public Television Fall Marketplace in Memphis last week are no exception. He calls for a reimagining of the system, from the stations up. Here's the transcript.

Men who carried out NPR fundraising sting say O'Keefe hijacked their investigation

Two men who played key roles in the NPR fundraising sting in February have split with media trickster James O'Keefe. Simon Templar and Shaughn Adeleye, who posed as Muslim philanthropists and secretly recorded their conversations with NPR development execs, fault O'Keefe for selling them a "false bill of goods," according to the Daily Beast. The pair say they designed a far-reaching, well-researched operation that was to extend far beyond NPR, but O'Keefe was only interested in a "hit job."

"All he cared about was that he had people saying embarrassing stuff on video," Templar tells media critic Howard Kurtz. "I came to learn how desperate he was in terms of money and needing to rehabilitate his reputation."