Sep 19, 2006

Senate may help CPB Board break deadlock

The CPB Board yesterday voted to reelect Cheryl Halpern as chair, but was unable to break a deadlock over nominees for vice-chair, according to Broadcasting & Cable. Gay Hart Gaines, a Republican fundraiser from Florida who was nominated for a second term as vice chair, will extend her service as vice-chairman until the board elects a successor by majority vote. The Senate Commerce Committee may help speed the board's decision making. It will hold a hearing on Sept. 21 on all three pending CPB Board nominations.

Chayes on post-Taliban Afghanistan

The Washington Post profiles Sarah Chayes, a former NPR reporter who left the network in 2002 to work for a nongovernmental organization in Afghanistan. Her new book, The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban, is "the kind of fleshed-out portrait that even the best on-the-run journalism rarely provides," writes Bob Thompson.

Reflections on PRPD

Jake Shapiro concludes a wrap-up of last week's Public Radio Program Directors conference with an observation that the annual meeting feels "a bit stuck." "Given NPR's New Realities meetings and the 'unconference' experiments underway elsewhere, it would be helpful to break out of panel mode for some open facilitated meetings -- tap into the wisdom of the crowd," he writes. Mary McGrath of public radio's Open Source also reflects on the conference: "Public broadcasters have been slow to wake up to the opportunities afforded by the Web. Some of the old timers just want to be retired before they have to really deal with it. Some are just confused or clueless or broke. Others, like the stations that carry Open Source, embrace the future of their medium with all of its uncertainties." (Keep reading for interesting comments from OS listeners.)