Oct 31, 2003

American University President Benjamin Ladner decided to remove WAMU Executive Director Susan Clampitt after several private conversations with station employees, the Washington Post reports. Ladner said Clampitt's problems ran much deeper than a few disgruntled staff members, which Clampitt said explained certain frustrations.

Oct 30, 2003

WAMU Executive Director Susan Clampitt was forced out of her job today by American University President Benjamin Ladner. Clampitt had been heavily criticized for her handling of the station's finances since taking charge in 2000. Ladner named his chief of staff, David Taylor, to oversee the station during the search for Clampitt's replacement. Earlier Current coverage of the charges against the ousted e.d.

Oct 29, 2003

The University of Connecticut's winning women's basketball team has renewed a contract for Connecticut PTV to handle local broadcats of its games for five more years. The annual fee paid by CPTV for 17 or more games will rise from $600,000 to $1 million by the 2007-08 season.
Monday, Nov. 3 is National Traffic Directors Day, organized (of course) by Traffic Directors Guild of America. The guild is suggesting that bosses treat each TD and a guest to dinner on a tradeout deal with a nice restaurant. The guild is also compiling a salary survey for release in January, adding TV stations. Last year, 1,500 radio stations participated in the survey, the guild said.

Oct 28, 2003

USA Today profiles StoryCorps, the new oral history project from Sound Portraits Productions. "It's history, bottom-up," says Studs Terkel. [Current article.]
On the Media's Bob Garfield calls Terry Gross's talk with Bill O'Reilly "an uncharacteristically ham-fisted hatchet job." But he concedes, "[I]f I were face to face with him, it would be hard for me to resist what Gross could not resist." (Via Romenesko.)

Oct 27, 2003

A Washington Post reader decries WAMU's decision to drop bluegrass, while another supports the changes General Manager Susan Clampitt has made.
Technology analysts predict that Tivo will soon be eclipsed by the DVR-ready set-top boxes offered by cable companies, reports the New York Times.

Oct 23, 2003

New Hampshire Public Radio and Iowa's KUNI/KHKE have started a weblog devoted to 2004 election coverage.
"NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dworkin [sic] definitely needs to look for a new line of work," opines a Capital Times columnist, weighing in on, yes, the Gross/O'Reilly affair.
David Isay discussed StoryCorps, his new oral history project, on Morning Edition. Also, today's Talk of the Nation takes up the future of public television.
The creators of the Public Radio Exchange are discussing their monster over at

Oct 22, 2003

Jeffrey Dvorkin's column on the dustup between Bill O'Reilly and Terry Gross reveals that even NPR admits its own liberal bias, charges conservative columnist Brent Bozell on
In a letter to the station's listeners, WAMU Executive Director Susan Clampitt defends the station's spending despite mounting deficits and criticism of her leadership both within and outside of the station. The letter is posted to the WAMU website.
Bill O'Reilly and Terry Gross continue to hash over their confrontation, this time in the Buffalo News. "How thin-skinned can this guy be?" Gross asks of her sparring partner. (Via Romenesko.)

Oct 21, 2003

"Do you want to say a few words about my growing lust?" asks Terry Gross of Sean Penn in "The NPR Blooper Reel," over at The Morning News.
"I don't trust the woman, I feel that she's got an agenda," says Fox News host Bill O'Reilly of NPR's Terry Gross in the Philadelphia Daily News. "Her sensibilities lie in the area that I'm evil and what I'm doing is bad."

Oct 20, 2003

After a decade of failed efforts to reverse the tide and rescue the system, PBS is in crisis mode, reports Television Week.

Oct 17, 2003

"I don't like the East Coast," says roving public radio reporter Scott Carrier in The Salt Lake Tribune. "There's too many people, it's too flat and there's too many trees." A show of Carrier's photographs has opened in Salt Lake City.

Oct 16, 2003

KOCE will remain a public TV station, it appears. Its operator, a community college district in Orange County, Calif., rejected bids from religious broadcasters and accepted one from the KOCE Foundation last night, the Los Angeles Times reported. With strong fundraising, the foundation upped its original $10 million bid to $32 million despite the loss of KCET as a partner.

Oct 15, 2003

Coast Community College District, operator of KOCE in Orange County, Calif., will decide whether to sell the public TV station at a board meeting tonight. Two religious broadcasters remain as bidders along with the KOCE Foundation, which would keep the station in the pubTV camp, the Los Angeles Times reported. Via
NPR's Terry Gross was unfair to Bill O'Reilly in her much-discussed interview with the Fox News host, writes NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin. And he says her resorting to an "empty chair" interview approach was "an unethical technique and should not be used on NPR."
The National Association of Broadcasters is trying to discredit a MITRE study of low-power FM, claiming it is technically flawed and falls short of its congressional mandate. NPR also questions MITRE's methodology but, breaking from precedent, suggests ways the FCC could begin limited licensing of LPFMs on third-adjacent channels. (Comments are PDFs.) [Earlier coverage in Current.]

Oct 14, 2003

A contributor to describes a recent confrontation with NPR President Kevin Klose over low-power FM. "It almost seems like if [former FCC Chairman Bill] Kennard would have shown him some personal deference, Klose might have swung the other way on the issue," s/he writes. Paul at mediageek provides some additional background and links.
"We need public media more than ever," said Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman at a event in Tucson, Ariz., reports The Tucson Citizen.
"I put myself through the ordeal to get definitive proof of what NPR is," says Bill O'Reilly in The Philadelphia Inquirer of his appearance on NPR's Fresh Air. Letter-writers continue to discuss the interview in the Letters section of Romenesko. Says one: "I'm holding out hope for Mara Liasson . . . [S]he must know how her presence on Fox's air lets O'Reilly, Hannity, et al, keep tarring NPR with the 'far-left' brush."
The first anniversary edition of the Association of Independents in Radio Member Spotlight features all AIR members, tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

Oct 13, 2003

Rich Tucker of the Heritage Foundation hammers public TV as an anachronism on Cybercast News Service. Tucker jumps on the bandwagon recently revived by law student Daniel Lyons in the Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal Constitution and other papers.
In Slate magazine, Stephen Metcalf tells how America's Test Kitchen wins over viewers despite or perhaps because of its "overwhelming wonkishness" of its food talk and the "studied crumminess" of its production values. He suspects the co-hosts are flirting with each other in some nerdy low-key way.
Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star advises viewers how they can catch PBS shows like Independent Lens that local station KCPT chooses not to air.
A Wisconsin company has introduced a board game based on public radio's Whad'Ya Know?, complete with a Michael Feldman bobblehead, reports The Capital Times.

Oct 10, 2003

In his latest "Media Matters" column, NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin addresses the case of an incomplete transcript and suggests NPR should not shy from naming CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Andrea Levin charges in The New York Post that the effect of NPR's Middle East coverage "is to promote the views of Israel's detractors." Levin is executive director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).
Sparks fly on WHYY's Fresh Air as Terry Gross interviews Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor and frequent critic of NPR. Listen to the interview on the show's website. The denizens of online community blog MetaFilter discuss the dust-up. An episode of The O'Reilly Factor posed the question, "Why did National Public Radio's Terry Gross ambush O'Reilly?" And a public radio news director calls O'Reilly "hypocritical." (Last link via Romenesko.)
The Baltimore Sun profiles Ira Glass and also notes the death of his mother.

Oct 9, 2003

Oct 8, 2003

WTMD (Towson, Md.) and WEMC (Harrisonburg, Va.) were among 28 radio stations fined $3,000 by the FCC today for failing to keep proper public files.
Heavy viewers of the Fox News Channel are nearly four times as likely to hold demonstrably untrue positions about the war in Iraq as are consumers of NPR and PBS, according to a study described in the Baltimore Sun.

Oct 7, 2003

Public TV execs and viewers respond to an anti-PBS op-ed that ran in several newspapers: the Salem Statesman Journal, the St. Petersburg Times and the Minneapolis Star Tribune (registration required).
The secret operations of a New York City agency obscure the likely sale of city TV and radio stations WNYE, reports the New York Times.
Talking with, Washington Post magazine critic Peter Carlson reveals a perk of his job is getting the New Yorker delivered to his door. "I thought I was really hot shit until early one Sunday morning he delivered the wrong copy to me, and it was addressed to Noah Adams of NPR," Carlson says. "I mean, Noah Adams is a fine human being, but we're not talking about Henry Kissinger here." (Via Romenesko.)

Oct 6, 2003

The Associated Press profiles
Executives at Denver's two public TV stations "can't agree whether it's a blessing or a curse that the city has two PBS channels with different programs and audiences," reports the Denver Business Journal.

Oct 1, 2003

The Public Broadcasting Button Collection collects promotional buttons from public radio and TV over the years. Sample: "1980. The year NPR stops being a secret. (don't tell anybody)"
Richard Pearce discusses his film "The Road to Memphis," an installment in PBS's The Blues, on the Washington Post's website.
Twenty-three more public TV organizations received digital conversion funding in the year's second round of Public Telecommunications Facilities Program grants. Aid went to state networks in 10 states, Connecticut, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont and West Virginia, as well as to 13 stations in other states.
Gerald Boyd, the former New York Times editor who stepped down after the Jayson Blair flap, is talking with NPR's Tavis Smiley about becoming executive producer of Smiley's show, reports the New York Post's gossip column. (Via Romenesko.)