Jun 28, 2002

Cory Doctorow, NPR's principal critic during this whole linking debacle, still finds plenty to dislike about NPR's revised policy. The latest article in Wired also includes some of his comments.
WFUV's folkie listeners and the New York Botanical Garden's orchid-lovers conflicted politely at yesterday's FCC hearing in the Bronx, giving the New York Times lots of material for cultural stereotyping. The issue: WFUV's half-built tower, which the Garden says ruins the skyline. Herewith: WFUV's side and the Garden's side. Nothing about the tower has been easy: its federal subsidy was held up by First Amendment issues.

Jun 27, 2002

Responding to widespread criticism (see posts below), NPR revised its linking policy today. You no longer need to request permission to link to its site. But NPR still seeks to bar framing of its pages, and says it reserves the right to withdraw permission for any link.
Charlie Rose had open-heart surgery June 25 to repair a faulty valve, reports USA Today. The talk-show host could be back to work within a week, says his exec producer (second item).

Jun 26, 2002

With CPB money, WNET launches African American World, a website about the AfAm experience that isn't an adjunct of any particular TV show. The site is planned so that other stations can integrate it into their websites.
Reacting to a Providence Journal editorial suggesting the merger of Rhode Island's WSBE with Boston's WGBH, Rhode Island pubcaster Susan Farmer says the Journal might as well be swallowed by the Boston Globe!
The Online Journalism Review joins in condemning NPR's linking policy. Also, BoingBoinger Cory Doctorow and NPR ombud Jeffrey Dvorkin both appeared on Minnesota Public Radio's Future Tense to discuss the controversy. (RealAudio required.)
Former U.S. Treasury Sec. Robert Rubin will be the first guest on MPT's newly revamped Wall Street Week with Fortune, says the L.A. Times.

Jun 25, 2002

A Baltimore Sun article attempts to capture the frantic activity behind the scenes at A Prairie Home Companion.
The Associated Press profiles Tavis Smiley, host of a new show on NPR.
As Maryland PTV readies its new Wall Street Week for debut on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reports that former host Louis Rukeyser has taken three of its four underwriters and kept airtime on public TV stations serving 60 percent of the population.
TV critic Tom Shales refuses to donate "money to a 'public' TV that has been privatized within an inch of its life," according to his Electronic Media column.
After its "Stupid Pills" wear off, PBS moves Masterpiece Theatre back to Sunday nights, says Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post.

Jun 24, 2002

Slate critic Virginia Heffernan on PBS's animated Sagwa: "Surprisingly, Sagwa gets away with refinement and high-mindedness . . ."
AP trumpets Ken Burns' new series of repeats on PBS Monday nights.
NPR will reconsider its linking policy in the wake of its widespread blogger-led condemnation.

Jun 21, 2002

KPFX is a new, Web-only Pacifica radio station, cousin to KPFK in Los Angeles. (Via Walker, below.)
Jesse Walker, writing in Salon, updates us on nascent efforts within the Pacifica network to revitalize its five stations.

Jun 20, 2002

Have you linked to NPR's website without permission? You'll have to "live with the guilt forever," NPR ombud Jeffrey Dvorkin tells Wired. (Update: The Poynter Institute's Steve Outing joins the tide regarding the linking policy. His verdict: stupid.)

Jun 19, 2002

Bloggers galore are thumbing their noses at NPR and violating its anti-linking policy. (See entry below.) Here's a list of who's doing it. (Update: the spanking continues ad infinitum at Slashdot.) (Via randomWalks.)
Cory at the exemplary weblog Boing Boing has a beef or two with NPR's linking policy.

Jun 17, 2002

Michael Apted, a British director whose excellent 7 Up series of documentaries has aired on PBS stateside, moves to A&E for his new project Married In America.
The layoffs keep coming. KERA-TV/FM in Dallas cut almost a quarter of its staff (36 employees) and cancelled a radio talk show Thursday, according to a report.

Jun 14, 2002

NPR deserves credit for aggressively covering foreign news even as other news outlets scale back overseas, writes network ombud Jeffrey Dvorkin in his latest "Media Matters" column.
NPR's Daniel Schorr will commemorate the 30th anniversary of Watergate by hosting a series of specials next week, according to the Buffalo News.
Life 360 takes its second shot at finding an audience in new episodes airing this summer, Elizabeth Jensen reports in the L.A. Times.

Jun 13, 2002

Public radio producer Nancy Updike writes up "National Corporate Radio," a shrill spoof of NPR, in the LA Weekly. (Via MediaNews.)

Jun 12, 2002

Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) introduced the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DOIT) June 11. Modeled on a proposal by Larry Grossman and Newton Minow, it would invest proceeds from spectrum auctions into an educational trust fund (bill text). Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) offered a similar bill last month (bill text).
In a USA Today op-ed, Pat Mitchell challenges the 18-34 demo to turn off Fear Factor and Survivor and turn on TV that informs and inspires.
WHYY laid off ten employees last week, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report. President Bill Marrazzo said the cuts will offset rising membership dues to NPR and PBS. (Second item.)
Public broadcasting might draw accusations of liberal bias, but a new Pew Research Center report says conservatives take in more PBS and NPR programming than liberals do, according to The Washington Times. (Second item.)
Daljit Dhaliwal of ITN has signed with CNN, where she'll anchor World News, reports The Guardian. (That little pic of Dhaliwal comes from The Unofficial Daljit Dhaliwal Appreciation Page, which has links to other coverage of the CNN signing, as well as a "SimDaljit" you can download for the Sims computer game.)

Jun 11, 2002

"What's up with WYMS?" is a site devoted to the embattled Milwaukee radio station.
Raquel Welch (born Jo-Raquel Tejada) is "strutting her ethnicity" for the first time in the PBS drama American Family.

Jun 10, 2002

Public broadcasting is getting more corporate, says the Washington Times.
The proliferation of kids' media and new thinking about how children watch TV have forced Sesame Street to catch up with the times, says a New York Times piece. (Related Current article, 11/19/01.)
The FCC will hold two open meetings June 27 to hear public comment about WFUV-FM's plans to shorten its broadcasting tower to keep it near the New York Botanical Garden. 'FUV and the Garden have been fighting over the tower's location for six years, according to 'FUV's website. Here's the FCC's announcement in PDF, text and Word formats.
The Yiddish Radio Project has started a "Gems from the Yiddish Radio Archive" feature on its website, a 26-week series of classic archived broadcasts. (Current's write-up of the Project, 2/11/02.)
Chicago's WTTW-TV laid off fifteen employees last week, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report. The station faces a $3.4 million shortfall in next year's budget, the story says.
Michigan Radio and Flint's WFUM-TV have merged to become Michigan Public Media. Donovan Reynolds, former Michigan Radio g.m., will lead the operation. Five staffers (four in radio, one in TV) have lost their jobs.
The L. A. Times profiles Eva Georgia, new g.m. of L. A. Pacifica station KPFK.

Jun 6, 2002

There's new stuff up at, which, oddly enough, is registered to Milwaukee Public Schools.
An Oregonian report says Oregon Public Broadcasting cut about 24 jobs—15 percent of its staff—yesterday, in response to the weak economy. Several higher-ups were included. (More coverage in the Portland Tribune.)
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer couldn't keep his NPR sweatshirt (and why was the network giving him one, anyway?). So who has it now? (Second item.)
CPB was a lead funder of the report on schools and the Internet, "Are We There Yet?," released yesterday by the National School Boards Foundation. Primo soundbite on NPR jibed the schools for depending heavily on kids for computer setup and troubleshooting. Schools use the Web mostly for teachers' research and lesson planning, very little for students' work, report says.

Jun 5, 2002

Maryland PTV hires "media crisis manager," who formerly repped for Linda Tripp. Baltimore Sun stopped taking his pitches after he passed the paper bad information in fall 2000.

Jun 4, 2002

"Could it be that [Bill] O'Reilly is living up to the old reporter's saw of not letting the facts get in the way of a good story?" So asks NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin in his latest "Media Matters" column, which addresses the perennial complaint that NPR is too left-wing. (O'Reilly in Current, 3/25/02.)

Jun 3, 2002

WBUR in Boston is only one of a number of news outlets targeted for boycott by pro-Israel press critics, as reported in "Current" June 3. Brooke Gladstone of "On the Media" talked with a critic of newspaper coverage -- and with a Jewish journalist uneasy with the idea of boycotts.
St. Petersburg Times pictures new Tampa station chief Richard Lobo as a turnaround expert at a station that needs a turnaround. The paper reported that WEDU No. 2 exec Elsie Garner is leaving as Lobo arrives.