Dec 15, 2008

Candidate for deanship, Klose close to closure

Kevin Klose, president emeritus of NPR, will visit with faculty and students of the University of Maryland's journalism school on Tuesday. He is the only candidate now under consideration to become its dean, and officials may extend an offer if they are pleased after his visit to College Park, Provost Nariman Farvardin told the campus newspaper, the Diamondback.

It's unofficial Kent Manahan month at NJN

The three-decade former anchor of NJN News gets an hourlong primetime special on Friday, "Kent Manahan: Anchoring a Legacy," with excerpts from her past programs plus recent interview segments, the state net announced today. And a week earlier the state Public Broadcasting Authority appointed her acting executive director. Predecessor Elizabeth Christopherson quit NJN in November and old Current she will join a foundation.

Pennsylvania stations tighten belts

WLVT-TV in Bethlehem, Pa., will likely raise about $100,000 less during its current pledge drive than it did last year, but there are no plans yet to cut jobs or local programs, says Pat Simon, president. The station is also waiting on state funding, which usually comes in July. Like many stations, WLVT is slashing its travel and ad budgets. WVIA in Wilkes-Barre has fared worse — last week the station announced it was laying of five employees, axing two programs and reducing salaries to make up for a $200,000 shortfall. 

"NextGen" training program for young journalists to be cut as NPR downsizes

Behind last week's headlines of NPR show cancellations and journalists losing their jobs, NPR eliminated Next Generation Radio, a training program created and managed by veteran producer Doug Mitchell. "What 'NextGen' (as it was known) did was to find young people from various backgrounds and give them the sense of wonder about radio journalism in all its forms," writes Jeffrey Dvorkin, former NPR ombudsman, on his blog. "Doug taught these kids about sound and story-telling and taking risks." Dvorkin describes the decision to let Mitchell go as a "huge loss for the company," and so far 159 Facebook users have endorsed this view by joining the group "Save Doug Mitchell's job." Mitchell describes the rationale for NextGen, and its strategic importance to public radio, in this 2003 Current commentary.

FCC asks ham radio operators for DTV help

The FCC has approached the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), an association of ham radio operators, for assistance with the upcoming digital TV transition. The commission would like members " to provide technical educational assistance to their communities," according the league's website. A spokesman for the organization says the FCC is letting ham groups nationwide decide how to best handle the task in each community. ARRL members will not be making house calls, the spokesman stressed, but handing out technical information and FCC materials on the transition.