Jan 31, 2008

Pick a poll

No matter whether you're a DTV optimist or someone with real concerns about next year's analog shut-off, there was a survey released yesterday that validates your feelings. Bright-siders could take comfort in the NAB's finding that 79 percent of consumers are aware of the transition, a figure that has doubled in the past year. The NAB found that 83 percent of over-the-air households are hip to the coming shut-off. However, Consumer Reports released its own survey suggesting that a smaller figure, 64 percent, were aware of the transition and that 74 percent of those folks had "major misconceptions" about the shut-off. “The good news is that surveys from Consumers Union and the broadcast industry show that more Americans are becoming aware of the DTV transition," said FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. "The bad news is there is still a lot of confusion that could turn into widespread panic if the government doesn't take a more proactive role." Broadcasting & Cable has a good recap here.

'Thanks, OPB, for reaching across the Cascades'

This Daily Astorian editorial lauds the statewide scope of Oregon Public Broadcasting's new daily radio and online talk show, Think Out Loud.

Will KRCL lose its quirk?

Salt Lake City Weekly laments the coming transformation of KRCL from a quirky, eclectic community radio station into one designed to net to a larger music audience, with paid DJs on-air from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. The station is moving to a more broadly appealing music mix format, says James Roberts, chairman of the KRCL board. The change is being fueled by a $195,000 CPB station renewal grant. The station was in danger of losing CPB funding and being shut out from its music-licensing agreements because it failed to maintain the minimal levels of listening or community financial support to be eligible for Community Service Grants.

Will there be pledge breaks?

Pubcasters in the Netherlands are sticking to their plans to air the pornographic film Deep Throat next month after the nation's media minister rejected calls from conservatives to prohibit the broadcast. "There can be no question of a ban, and no investigation of this will be mounted either," said Ronald Plasterk. "The government also has no views on any programme, [sic] moral or otherwise."

Jan 30, 2008

KOOP ex-volunteer torched the station over music picks, officials charge

On Jan. 5, Paul Feinstein, a 24-year-old former KOOP volunteer angry about past playlist decisions, poured gasoline over the community radio station's control panels and lit them on fire, Austin fire officials say. The resulting blaze caused more then $300,000 in damage and knocked the station off the air until last week, when it resumed operations in a donated studio. Feinstein has been charged with second degree felony arson and could face two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Feinstein, who has no criminal record, had clashed with another volunteer because his selections for an overnight Internet-only program had been changed, according to the Austin American-Statesman. He quit the station about a week before the fire. "We are kind of worried that people will look at us like a bunch of idiots," Andrew Dickens, the president of KOOP told the American-Statesman. "Who the hell would have thought somebody would have snapped?" Ironic detail: Feinstein's jazz program was called "Mellow Down Easy."

Detroit radio vet will head pubTV station

Detroit Public Television's new president, as of Friday, will be Ritschard (Rich) Homberg, who has been v.p. and g.m. of CBS's all-news WWJ-AM for more than a decade, the Detroit Free Press reported. Homberg succeeds Steve Antoniotti, who resigned in April after an apparent conflict with his board. "My strongest interests are in local programming and really working to complete the capital campaign," Homberg told the newspaper.

NYTimes on WNET's Shapiro: He's not shy

WNET's new president Neal Shapiro, who came from NBC News, "hasn't been shy about putting his at times unorthodox stamp on WNET and his own team in place," write Elizabeth Jensen in a New York Times article about his first year at the station. "Four of the station's top executives have left," and Shapiro says a coming restructuring of staff may lead to "change behind the scenes." The story highlights his focus on local documentary, online video, and a new arts program with him as host. "Mr. Shapiro said he was reveling in no longer chasing Britney Spears interviews and in having an educational department to work with," writes Jensen, "but he acknowledged that he found the pace at his new employer slow. 'One of the things that I think I can bring here is to try to make us a little more nimble,' he said." 

Flailing WTVP strikes new deal with Bank of America

WTVP in Peoria, Ill., has struck a new deal with Bank of America to settle the station's debt, writes station President Chet Tomczyk on the WTVP website. The bank accepted WTVP's offer to settle the station's debt at $5.2 million, due by February 28. See Current's story on the station's debt problems here.

Gates incorporates genealogy into new mag

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard professor and host of the PBS series African American Lives, is heading up The Root, a new online magazine launched this week by The Washington Post Company. The magazine, aimed at a black audience, covers politics and culture and features interactive tools for readers to track their ancestry.

PBS puts free educational content on iTunes U

PBS is now offering free multimedia educational content on iTunes U, the educational area of iTunes. Housed in the "Beyond Campus" section, the offerings--video, lectures, interviews, teacher guides--come from KQED, WETA, WNET and WGBH.

Competition for Colorado news listeners

The channel swap planned for Colorado Public Radio's KFCR News and KVOD Classical stations will cut off service to music lovers in Fort Collins and bring competition for news listeners now served by Greeley's KUNC, reports the Coloradoan.

Jan 28, 2008

Summit for state ed officers and pubTV

Rob Lippincott, PBS’s senior v.p., education, is urging stations to invite their states' chief public school officers to a Council of Chief State School Officers executive summit about educational media (scroll down to third item) in New York March 6, preceding WNET’s Teaching & Learning Celebration. The third annual Celebration, March 7-8, will offer 90 workshops for teachers plus such events as a forum on future schooling, moderated by Judy Woodruff. For info on the summit: Scott Frein, CCSSO, 202-336-7015.

Indecency police are on patrol

Images of a nude woman's backside, broadcast in February 2003 before 10 p.m. on ABC stations in the Central and Mountain time zones, prompted the FCC to fine the network $1.43 million, the maximum allowed at the time. "We find that the programming at issue is within the scope of our indecency definition because it depicts sexual organs and excretory organs--specifically an adult woman's buttocks," the FCC wrote in a decision issued on Friday.

Jan 25, 2008

NTIA: Converter boxes coming next month

Electronics manufacturers and retailers will have digital-to-analog converter boxes on store shelves by Feb. 18, said Meredith Baker, acting head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The NTIA, which is running the federal converter box program, also announced plans for special consumer education projects, including a "application completion" week in September in which churches and other community organizations will help people apply for $40 coupons for the converters. As of Wednesday, consumers had applied for 3.7 million of the coupons, the NTIA said. A recent APTS survey found that 40 percent of over-the-air households would rather get their digital TV via converters, as opposed to 12 percent who said they'd subscribe to cable or satellite. Some electronics execs have been nervous that the industry would be able to meet the demand.

NYT: Kernis's TV job is at CNN

Jay Kernis will leave NPR to become managing editor at CNN, according to the New York Times' TV Decoder blog. NPR announced Kernis's departure internally Jan. 23. Kernis has served as NPR's senior v.p. for programming for seven years.

Humble Farmer angles for TV placement

Maine's Humble Farmer, booted from the state's public radio network after refusing to tone down his political rants, is mounting a return to broadcasting via public-access TV, reports the Kennebec Journal. The Farmer, whose real name is Robert Skoglund, has said that 28 stations plan to air his show or consider it. "I see public access TV as one of the last bastions of free speech, and I really disagree with what happened to him," said a manager at one station.

Crossroads film gets Oscar nod

Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, which aired as part of PBS's America at a Crossroads series, has received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. The Documentary Group production dramatized writings by veterans of the Iraq War in a variety of styles and featured vets from previous wars talking about their experiences. Operation stirred up less controversy than the other Crossroads films (previous coverage in Current) but earned positive attention from critics.

Funding boost moves WTVP closer to survival

WTVP in Peoria, Ill., is $1.5 million closer to staying in business, reports the (Bloomington) Pantagraph. Several major donors contributed the sum, bringing the station's outstanding debt to $500,000. As Current has reported, WTVP hit financial trouble after borrowing to build new facilities and failing to reach the fundraising levels agreed on by its creditors.

Jan 24, 2008

WUMB ponders end to its PRI affiliation

The steep price of Public Radio International programming has prompted Boston's WUMB to consider dropping Mountain Stage and Afropop Worldwide, according to the Boston Globe. General Manager Pat Monteith has approached producers of both shows about her dilemma, but they can't help her. "Their contract won't allow them to negotiate with us independently and PRI won't give us a price that's affordable," she said. WUMB has been reevaluating its program schedule and branding as part of CPB's Station Renewal Project.

'They used to have to leave your house to get into trouble...'

Frontline producers Rachel Dretzin and John Maggio chatted with Washington Post readers about "Growing Up Online," their investigation into how social networks, cyberbullying and other Web-native phenomena are transforming childhood.

Global deal brings BBC content to MySpace

A partnership to be announced today by the BBC and MySpace will bring BBC content to 23 regional MySpace sites around the world, according to the New York Times.

The Met cancels VOD plans

The Metropolitan Opera is scrapping plans to make its productions available on cable video-on-demand services shortly after its live transmissions to movie theaters. Theater owners complained that the cable offering would cut into live audiences. PBS will still carry the performances. Since he took the reins in 2006, Peter Gelb, the Met's g.m., has worked to get the opera house's performances on as many platforms as possible.

Jan 23, 2008

NPR's Kernis to return to TV

Jay Kernis, NPR's top program exec for seven years, will soon announce his return to TV, according to an NPR memo circulated today. He presided over an expansion of NPR News productions, adding Day to Day, Tell Me More, News & Notes and The Bryant Park Project, while contracting its music programming and overseeing Morning Edition's rocky transition to new hosts. Before NPR welcomed him back for his present stint at the radio network, Kernis was a CBS News producer for 60 Minutes and other programs. Before that he was a key figure in developing Morning Edition and Weekend Edition at NPR.

Make that two Illinois stations in dire straits

With no buyers interested in purchasing public TV station WQPT in Moline, Ill., trustees of station licensee Black Hawk College met to consider a plan to cut expenses by drastically reducing the amount of PBS programming broadcast to the community, according to the Quad City Times. The station is one of two Illinois outlets in dire financial circumstances: the other is WTVP in Peoria, which could be placed in federal receivership this week.

Going for your emotions, rather than your brain

"Documentaries are, in fact, defined by what’s left out," writes filmmaker David Grubin, describing the editorial choices he made in producing The Jewish Americans. "They are not meant to be encyclopedic." He tells a viewer disappointed by the show's limited treatment of Jewish Americans in the western United States that the strength of documentaries is in combining the "emotional power of music and imagery," which "can make you feel as if you are experiencing history rather than learning it." Grubin responded to questions from viewers of his PBS series in a two-part New York Times online Q&A.

Jan 21, 2008

PBS ombud: race segment "too long", short on illumination

PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler reviews a Jan. 14 NewsHour segment on the racially-themed sparring between the Obama and Clinton campaigns. He concludes that the selection of partisan interviewees "led to a lengthy argument, rather than an examination of what, if anything, is really going on. Two more independent observers probably would have been more illuminating." The column also includes a response from the NewsHour's e.p.

Wash. signal goes to KUOW

KUOW-FM in Seattle is likely to start broadcasting on a new full-power signal in Bellingham, Wash., after resolving its competition for the frequency with KPLU-FM in Seattle/Tacoma, reports the Puget Sound Business Journal. Both stations had applied to the FCC for the open channel, and KPLU withdrew.

Critic finds Austen blowout mostly pleasurable

Writing for the New Yorker, Nancy Franklin reviews the "four-month Austenpalooza" now underway on PBS's rebranded Masterpiece. "[T]he Austen logjam has many pleasing aspects—as well as aspects that will vex Austen maniacs, but, as far as I can tell from the various Web sites devoted to the author, being vexed is part of the joy of being an Austen maniac," she writes. Screenwriter Andrew Davies, who penned several of the Masterpiece installments, appeared recently on NPR.

Jan 18, 2008

Maassen heads to New Orleans

Paul Maassen, g.m. of WYSO-FM in Yellow Springs, Ohio, is leaving the station to lead WWNO-FM in New Orleans, reports the Dayton Business Journal. Maassen worked at the Ohio station for more than two years. (Via PRPD News for Programmers.)

KUNI tower recovers from ice storm

Iowa Public Radio's KUNI-FM in Cedar Falls is again broadcasting at full power after several weeks of suffering from ice-storm damage. The network's classical KHKE-FM, also in Cedar Falls, remains at low power after sustaining damage in another storm.

CPB backs six Web 2.0 projects

Pubcasters with new backing from CPB will start a music-focused online social network (WFUV, New York), combat the spread of invasive plants (Oregon Public Broadcasting) and build a concert hall in Second Life (WGBH). CPB announced six grants of up to $20,000 each Jan. 17 in the second round of its Public Media Innovation Fund grants.

Rose to become "60 Minutes" regular

PBS's Charlie Rose will contribute reports to CBS's 60 Minutes starting this season, reports the New York Times. Rose had previously appeared on 60 Minutes II until its cancellation in 2005.

Jan 17, 2008

Free over-the-air TV poised for a comeback?

An APTS survey (press release) found that more than 40 percent of current over-the-air households would rather continue to get their TV over-the-air after the DTV transition, via converter box or new digital TV, than subscribe to a cable or satellite provider (12 percent said they'd sign on to a pay service). A total of 44 percent of respondents said they would wither didn't know how they'd adapt to the Feb. 17, 2009 analog shut-off or would "do nothing." That said, early demand for the government's $40 converter box subsidies has been strong. The program officially started Jan. 1 and in the first week they were available, nearly 2 million consumers requested the coupons, due to be mailed out beginning in February. At least one major consumer electronics exec is nervous that the industry will be able to meet the demand.

Colorado Public Radio's KCFR upgrades to new home on FM band

With the pending $8.2 million purchase of Denver Christian music station K-LOVE, Colorado Public Radio plans to move its KCFR-AM news service to the FM band, according to the Denver Business Journal. CPR's announcement of the acquisition is here.

In Vermont, personalized HD Radio demos make the difference in converting listeners

Vermont Public Radio's Rich Parker describes how a personal approach to educating listeners and retailers about HD Radio has made all the difference in bringing audiences to the network's new multicast service. "In the abstract, it’s hard to get across how revolutionary digital multicasting really is," he writes in Radio World online. "But once people start to actually see and hear the units, they are excited about getting a radio as soon as they can."

Jan 16, 2008

PBS adding to its YouTube stash

PBS is adding more video content to its YouTube channel, including original online content, previews of broadcast programs, and longer program segments. PBS currently has nearly 700 videos on YouTube, most of which are less than 6 minutes long.

Unneighborly neighbors in the Prairie Home next door

All is not well in Lake Wobegone. Prairie Home Companion host and creator Garrison Keillor is suing his neighbor over a planned expansion of her home next door to his in St. Paul's Ramsey Hill historic district. “Neighbors do not deal with neighbors in the way you have dealt with us,” Mr. Keillor reportedly wrote in an e-mail to Lori Anderson, who ended a New Zealand vacation with her fiance to attempt to resolve the dispute. Yesterday a county judge sent the two sides to a mediator to attempt to work out an agreement, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which published a photograph of the stalled construction project (subscription required).

CPB grants $1.3 million for election collaboration

CPB has awarded more than $1.3 million to a consortium of public radio and television organizations to support multi-platform coverage of Election 2008. The partners include American Public Media, Capitol News Connection, KQED, NPR, PBS, Public Radio Exchange, Public Radio International/Public Interactive and The NewsHour. The mashup of local and national content will include election video and teaching materials from PBS, a collaborative content initiative called Global Perspectives on Election 2008 from PRI, a collection of election audio and social media content from PRX, and user-generated political commentaries curated by NPR. An interactive election map from The Newshour and NPR and an "Ask Your Lawmaker" web widget from CNC--through which users can question their lawmakers and listen to answers obtained by journalists--are already up and running. Andy Carvin, NPR's senior strategist for online communities, writes more about the project here.

Sarkozy would make Radio France ad-free also

President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to end advertising on France's public television channels would also take ads off Radio France, reports Forbes. Advertising accounts for only about 8 percent of the pubradio network's budget, in contrast to 40 percent of the pubTV network's budget. French Culture and Communication Minister Christine Albanel said the government would try to get the law passed before summer.

Jan 15, 2008

Discovery Health 'OWN'ed by Oprah

Discovery Communications and Oprah Winfrey will create OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network to replace Discovery Health Channel, the principals announced today. The network will debut in 2009 to the roughly 70 million homes that currently get Discovery Health and will have the backing of Discovery and Winfrey's Harpo Productions will split ownership of the venture 50/50, but Winfrey will retain full editorial control. OWN will feature empowering programs designed to help viewers "live their best lives."

The programming shakeup comes as privately held Discovery Communications prepares for a public offering of its stock. Another change: Discovery's Animal Planet is "not looking to be a natural history channel," said GM Marjorie Kaplan. "We’re looking to be an entertainment destination." The channel will emphasize predation (animal deaths) as well as pets and immersive storytelling, the New York Times reported yesterday. Discovery Home, another of the 100-plus channels that Discovery operates around the world, will be relaunched as PlanetGreen,

Adobe backs youth programming for PBS

Adobe Systems Inc. has given the PBS Foundation $1 million to aid youth-oriented and youth-generated programming -- establishing the network's Adobe Youth Voices Venture Fund. The grant will also assist foundation operations.

Fit or Fat? Live or Die?

Those are the stakes outlined by Fatworld, ITVS's latest educational video game, which launched this week. The free game (download required) uses whimsical, bloating Mii-esque characters to illustrate the serious, complicated relationship "between nutrition and factors like budgets, the physical world, subsidies and regulations." Players choose their own starting weights and health issues and have to create menus, exercise (or not) and run a restaurant. Fatworld is the latest "serious game" from ITVS, which last spring asked webizens to imagine a world without oil in, um, World Without Oil.

Free tryouts for PBS Kids Play game site

PBS Kids Play!, the online learning games package for ages 3-6, opened in a beta version this week for free tryouts, USA Today reported. Current previewed the service, which will cost users $9.95 a month or $79 a year ($15 off if you order by Feb. 18). For best results, PBS directs PC users to download the 3MB client software, while Mac users are directed to a web version that also appears to work with PCs.

Jan 14, 2008

Shepard revives weekly NPR ombudsman's column

"My job is not to advocate for NPR," writes new NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard in her first web column. "My job is to explain NPR to the public and the public's concerns to NPR."

Activists want Democracy Now! on WOUB

A professor at Ohio University in Athens is leading a campaign to bring Democracy Now! to WOUB. So far station managers have rebuffed the request, saying the show does not meet their editorial standards, according to a newspaper op-ed inviting readers to join the cause.

Wash Post's Fisher says NPR Music site is better than most pubradio stations

The Washington Post's Marc Fisher reviews NPR's new music website and finds that it's a lot better than the narrow formatting of most public radio stations: "NPR Music sounds more like a creative, genre-busting radio station than do many actual public stations. It's a place where radio adds value, with smart critics presenting and telling stories about music, programs that happily smash through the genre limits that make so much of radio too predictable, and online-only shows such as All Songs Considered which grew out of listeners' fascination with the music producers used to fill the spaces between stories on NPR's "All Things Considered" newsmagazine.

Jan 11, 2008

How persuasive is Persuasion?

"Persuasion, the first production from PBS' Complete Jane Austen, badly overadjusts, adding so many fussy modern flourishes and out-of-place romantic gestures it almost undermines the inherent beauty of Austen's work," writes Robert Bianco in USA Today. Laurence Vittes of the Hollywood Reporter disagrees: "Persuasion, the first installment in the new Jane Austen cycle...finds an excellent, demographic-widening middle road between the stiff, formal attempts of 20 and 30 years ago and flights of cinematic fancy like Patricia Rozema's Mansfield Park from 1999."

Previews of radio's next evolution

Food for thought on the future of radio: Rob Paterson blogs about the arrival of Wi-fi to the car and Mark Ramsey describes how RCA's Infinite Radio--a table-top unit integrating AM/FM, Wi-Fi, and Slacker Personal Radio--blows HD Radio away.

Pledge drive listening as measured by PPMs

Pubradio marketing consultant John Sutton summarizes conclusions from the first study to use Arbitron Personal People Meter data to analyze pledge-drive listening.

Was Eucharist fair game? But Faith gets forgiveness

Public Radio International has apologized for a recent skit on Fair Game with Faith Salie that recommended an imaginary “Huckabee family recipe” for “Deep-Fried Body of Christ — boring holy wafers no more,” the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights said yesterday. The recipe skit was one of several based on weight problems of the preacher/presidential candidate (here’s another), but this one was pulled from the nightly comic interview show’s website, the league said, concluding: “We are satisfied with this outcome — it effectively ends this issue.”

Jan 10, 2008

Hawaii pubTV will profit from land sale

The Hawaii Public Television Foundation is selling land it bought in 2003 to house PBS Hawaii, reports the Honolulu Star Bulletin. The foundation bought the property in Waikiki for $2.4 million in 2003, and its value has since tripled. Technical issues and 60-foot zoning restrictions thwarted plans to create a broadcast center there. The foundation "will invest proceeds from the sale of the Waikiki property into a long-term home for PBS Hawaii, which has been unable to secure a long-term lease with the University of Hawaii for years," reports the paper. The station has offered to renovate and expand its current home at the University's Manoa campus in return for a 30-year lease.

Burbank, freed from constraints of NPR

Promoting his new weeknight talk show on KIRO-AM, Luke Burbank tells the Seattle Times about "the freedom that was missing" as co-host of NPR's Bryant Park Project: "Fifteen producers. A tight schedule. Doing segments he just wasn't that into. 'There was all this money on the line and then people were just messing with you so much,' he says."

Jan 8, 2008

Bid to purify pubTV in France

French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed to drop commercials on public TV in the country. Instead, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said public TV would receive proceeds of a new tax on commercial broadcasters ad sales and possibly an "infinitesimal" tax on Internet access and mobile phones, Bloomberg reported. The comments sent the stock price up nearly 10 percent for the biggest commercial channel, TF1. Bloomberg pointed out that Martin Bouygues, CEO of the largest investor in TF1, is godfather to the French president's son Louis.

KOOP fire looks like arson

A fire that knocked Austin community station KOOP off the air last weekend was set intentionally, city fire officials say. The blaze caused more than $300,000 in damage. The station, which shares the 91.7 frequency with the University of Texas' student-run KVRX, moved to its current location in 2006 after two fires at its previous home caused more than $4 million in damages, total, with the latter blaze destroying the building entirely. Neither of the earlier fires was ruled to be arson. KOOP has a history of infighting, though things had apparently stabilized, according to local reports. That said, Jim Ellinger, KOOP's founder, ousted in 1999, said Monday that the station keeps burning down because of its "own bad karma."

Kids aren't learning much from digital products

A new report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center on the children's interactive media market finds that most digital products for kids do not utilize available research on children's educational needs. "D is for Digital," which focused on products for ages 3-11, found only two explicitly curriculum-based video games on the market. The report, which includes recommendations to the industry, researchers and policymakers, can be downloaded here.

Patterson predicts death of regular TV schedule

"My prediction for 2008 will be that a tidal wave of innovation will converge and make TV on demand normal for the mainstream audience by early 2009," writes Robert Patterson today in his blog. "As this happens, the money now invested in TV advertising and in supporting public TV will shift away - it will follow the audience." In his first in a series of installments on the subject, he says this trend will cause the "slow but sure death" of many local stations, reminiscent of the music and newspaper industry. Patterson will be writing about what pubTV stations can do to survive the shift.

Luke Burbank's new talk show is "Too Beautiful to Live"

Too Beautiful to Live, a three-hour talk show featuring former NPR host Luke Burbank, debuted last night on Seattle's KIRO-AM. "I've always thought I was a little too interesting for public radio, and a little too smart for commercial radio," Burbank said in a BlatherWatch preview of the new show. Like Bryant Park Project, the NPR show that Burbank left less than a month ago, Too Beautiful won't sound like NPR. "We'll be real people talking about our lives," Burbank said.

Jan 7, 2008

NPR unveils new service for deaf and blind

Among other gadgets to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show, the San Jose Mercury News previews a new HD Radio media access technology that NPR plans to introduce at CES. UPDATE: Here's the official news release describing the initiative and today's live demonstration at CES.

Jan 3, 2008

WAMC, NCPR resolve dispute over service to Lake Placid

WAMC in Albany, N.Y., agreed to drop its bid to build a new full-power radio station in territory already served by North Country Public Radio, according to the Albany Times-Union. The proposal, one of three vying at the FCC for the 91.7 frequency in Lake Placid, would have bumped NCPR's translator service to the town.

Consultants call for HD Radio Alliance to rethink its marketing strategy

A couple of blog postings about the marketing of HD Radio prompted vigorous debates about the viability of the nascent broadcast technology. Consultant Fred Jacobs critiques the concept behind the new ad campaign created for HD Radio Alliance stations, prompting a pre-holiday venting about all that is wrong with HD Radio. And Mark Ramsey, who predicted two years ago that HD would die on the vine without a better marketing plan, comments on the lackluster sales of HD Radio units [Via PRPD].

Jan 2, 2008

Before the holidays, Talent Quest finalists wrapped up their pilots

PRX's three Public Radio Talent Quest finalists completed their pilot episodes last month and posted them to the PRTQ website. Listen and review Al Letson's State of the ReUNION, Rebecca Watson's Curiosity Aroused and Glynn Washington's Snap Judgment. The trio are competing for CPB series funding with each other and three aspiring pubradio hosts recruited by a separate team of producers.