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.