Jun 28, 2012

SoCon drops deals with four public TV stations for game coverage

The Southern Conference has cut short its three-year deal with four public television stations, reports news site in Boone, N.C.

SoCon, a Division I college athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, announced the deals last year with South Carolina ETV, UNC-TV, Georgia Public Broadcasting and WTCI in Chattanooga, Tenn. (Current, Dec. 12, 2011). But SoCon wanted its games televised statewide in all five states within the league, which also included Alabama.

"We also had a second broadcast package last year with ESPN3," SoCon spokesman Jason Yaman told Current. "This year all of our events will be shown through ESPN3 and we will not have a conference package with public television."

Nancy Zintak, spokesperson for GPB, told Current: "We enjoyed our relationship with SoCon last year and we wish them well with ESPN3.  Our core sports business is really in the high school arena, which is where we're able to connect with our communities all over Georgia and celebrate academic excellence both on and off the field."

"The Takeaway" goes from four hours to one hour in September

Starting Sept. 3, The Takeaway, the weekday live drivetime pubradio news show that launched in April 2008, is shrinking from four hours to one hour.

Jennifer Houlihan, spokesperson for co-producer WNYC, told Current that the show's staff was informed of the decision today (June 28). Some positions will be eliminated; those will be determined by mid-July, Houlihan said. All employees are guaranteed jobs through Aug. 30, and some may continue to work in other roles at WNYC.

The show's format "will be refined," but still focus on news, conversation and analysis, Houlihan said. The show also was tweaked 17 months after its premiere (Current, Sept. 8, 2009).

Currently, 65 stations carry the program, according to Houlihan. "Some stations had already begun airing parts of The Takeaway outside of morning drive," she said, "and we're enthusiastic about its potential as a strong mid-morning/daytime news offering, as well as a digital property available on multiple platforms."

"Radio Ambulante" strives to give Latino stories a radio home, in Spanish

Because public radio "isn't creating permanent spaces" for "introspective stories about Latinos," Peruvian-American novelist Daniel Alarcon and a group of veteran writers and radio producers are nurturing Radio Ambulante, writes poet and KPCC Reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez on KCET's SoCal Focus blog. Guzman-Lopez describes Radio Ambulante as "a sort of This Latin American Life in Spanish."

Guzman-Lopez writes that in do-it-yourself tradition, "Alarcon and his crew didn't find the radio program they wanted to hear, so they set out to create it." Radio Ambulante, which loosely translates to "walking radio," currently is available streaming and as a podcast; producers hope to air on stations in Latin America and the United States.

"National Public Radio is dismayingly white," Alarcon said, "and I think they know that and we all know that. That's not news. The question is what are they going to do about it."

Guzman-Lopez notes that organizations like Youth Radio in California, NPR's training unit and schools of journalism "are giving more of these motivated Latinos the critical ingredient, the analytical tools, and the storytelling formulas, to fashion compelling stories."

Alabama PTV legal memo, meeting minutes and two mission statements now online

Now on, additional background content on the Alabama Public Television firings (Current, June 25). In a May 23 legal memo from longtime pubcasting attorney Todd Gray to former APT Executive Director Allan Pizzato, Gray said he believes there is "a systemic risk to AETC [Alabama Educational Television Commission] and its public broadcasting mission if specific programming decisions come to be made by the Commissioners." Also, minutes of the AETC's March 20 and June 12 meetings reveal the brewing controversy. And both APT's rewritten mission statement, adopted at the commission's June 12 meeting, and its former "Mission, Vision, Values, and Diversity Statement" are now online for comparison.