Jun 26, 2003

Criticism of NPR's partnership with Slate "sort of infuriated" staffers at the online mag, says editor Jacob Weisberg in Online Journalism Review.

Jun 25, 2003

Local people have organized a nonprofit to keep a public TV production facility going in Green Bay, Wis., after Wisconsin PTV closes it, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports.
In a bid to boost its online listenership and raise its profile nationally, Santa Monica's KCRW is sponsoring a series of concerts in the entertainment capital of the East Coast. The sponsorships help "cement who we are as a place that is breaking and taking chances on new music," says Nic Harcourt, KCRW music director, in the LA Times.

Jun 24, 2003

Henry Hampton's last documentary series, This Far By Faith, airs on many PBS stations tonight. The Los Angeles Times retells how the production faltered after Hampton's death. Although a New York Times critic finds that dramatic reenactments and time sequences in early episodes are uneven, she ultimately describes the series, aided by its musical soundtrack, as "splendid viewing."

Jun 23, 2003

Boston's WBUR-FM reinstates Fresh Air today after airing it sporadically since the war in Iraq, reports the Boston Globe.

Jun 20, 2003

A House subcommittee is proposing that CPB take $100 million from its fiscal year 2004 appropriation of $380 million to pay for digital conversion and public TV's new interconnection system. CPB says that would result in a possible 26 percent cut in operating grants to public TV and radio stations.

Jun 19, 2003

Tavis Smiley's NPR show has taken off, but some listeners who aren't black feel excluded. Network ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin considers their complaints.
The Onion reports that a college-radio DJ in Illinois believes he has a huge fan base. "Though 'Rock Blossom' is heard mainly by his girlfriend and a handful of friends who request songs while they get stoned, Haley said his show is distinctive because of his personality," the paper says.

Jun 18, 2003

NPR and WOI Radio in Iowa will co-sponsor a radio-only debate with the Democratic presidential candidates Jan. 6, 2004.
The Pacifica radio network has begun moving back to its spiritual home of Berkeley, reports the Daily Planet.

Jun 17, 2003

The foundation of KBPS-FM in Portland, Ore., will buy its independence from the city's school board. Public Radio Capital, which represented the station's foundation during negotiations, was profiled earlier this year in Corporate Board Member.
The FCC should force commercial broadcasters to fund their local public brethren, argues Rich Hanley on

Jun 16, 2003

The new head of drama for Britain's Channel Four plans to reposition the broadcaster as the "punk rock star" of TV drama, shifting away from big-budget period epics, reports the Guardian.
"Sure, Reading Rainbow is good for you, but is it any good?" A Seattle mother writing for the New York Times thinks so.
Filmmaker Michael Moore unexpectedly chipped in to help KVMR-FM in Nevada City, Calif., raise some cash during its fund drive. (Last item.)

Jun 13, 2003

Portland's KBPS is moving to buy its FM station from the city's public schools for $5.5 million. The school board will vote on the sale Monday.

Jun 12, 2003

WMHT in Schenectady laid off four on-air radio staff yesterday in an effort to break even financially. The station had already laid off 16 employees last month.
Maryland's Salisbury University will not sell WSCL-FM, but wants to strengthen the public radio station's ties to campus, reports the Salisbury Daily Times. A university English teacher says WSCL has been "snobbish" and "stand-offish," the paper reported.

Jun 11, 2003

WYPR-FM in Baltimore has grown since buying its independence from Johns Hopkins University a year ago, but has it been at a cost? "Public radio is increasingly treating its listeners as consumers, including at WYPR," says consultant John Sutton in The Baltimore Sun.

Jun 10, 2003

NPR is protesting the possible addition of a new strip club to its neighborhood, reports the Washington Business Journal. (Fourth item, registration required.)

Jun 9, 2003

Missed this one: Carl Kasell tied the knot May 24, reports The Washington Post, with many from his NPR family in tow. (Via DCRTV.)
Like most commercial news shows, PBS's NewsHour relied heavily on officials and pro-war sources for coverage of the Iraq war and included few anti-war voices, according to a study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).
The board of directors of WSCL-FM in Salisbury, Md., voted against selling the station to Baltimore's WYPR, reports the Salisbury Daily Times. Officials with Salisbury University, the station's owner, favor a sale and expect to decide the matter this month.
Sunni Khalid settled a racial and religious discrimination lawsuit filed against NPR in 1997. (Fifth item.) [Earlier coverage in Current.]
Cincinnati's Xavier University sold public station WVXG to HON Broadcasting Co. of Columbus, a commercial broadcaster, reports the Marion Star.
Fun Fact about Ira Glass No. 483: He is a vegetarian who sometimes gets "obsessed with meat," reports The Oregonian.

Jun 6, 2003

WNED's third annual Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival opens June 15 with acts including the Yardbirds, Buddy Guy, Larry and Murali Coryell and Christopher Parkening. Why in Buffalo? The Buffalo News asks and answers the question.
KERA in Dallas may run a city-owned classical station under a plan being considered by city government, reports the Star-Telegram. An Observer columnist (5/29 , 6/5) questions whether the public station is up to the task.

Jun 4, 2003

Cartoonist Ted Rall has an idea for PBS's next reality show.
NPR's new deal with the online mag Slate to co-produce a daily newsmag uncomfortably smacks of commercialism, say Mark Glaser of the Online Journalism Review and others.

Jun 3, 2003

The Weekly Standard takes aim at Bill Moyers for failing to acknowledge that many of his Now interview subjects have received money from the Schumann Foundation, which Moyers heads. Moyers responds on the Now website.
Only NPR and PBS gave serious coverage to the FCC's revision of media ownership rules in the weeks before the decision, says the Poynter Institute's Al Tompkins.

Jun 2, 2003

Boston's WBUR-FM dropped Fresh Air and has no definite plans for its reinstatement, angering some fans, according to the Boston Herald.