Mar 9, 2009

CPB hires Lightpath evangelist to promote diversity, innovation

JoaquĆ­n Alvarado, advocate for the National Public Lightpath fiber optic network for public media, will join CPB June 30 as senior v.p. for diversity and innovation. With PBS and NPR, CPB endorsed the Lightpath project for federal stimulus spending in January, and at last month’s IMA Public Media Conference, Alvarado urged involvement in the expansion of fast Internet broadband service. (He describes the Lightpath idea in this video.) Alvarado is founding director of the Institute for Next-Generation Internet at San Francisco State University and a board member of the Bay Area Video Coalition and Latino Public Broadcasting. Earlier in the decade, Alvarado worked on films, as cinematographer and associate producer on Alcatraz Avenue (2000) and writer and director on The Silent Cross (2003), and he has written scholarly articles on ethnic diversity in media.

GM drops funding for Ken Burns, citing "financial crisis"

General Motors is ending its long financial support of public broadcasting documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, due to the automaker's dire business outlook. GM had covered 35 percent of each film's budget and funded outreach under a 10-year contract inked in 1999, and had financially supported Burns' work for years before then. The last film made with GM backing is The National Parks: America's Best Idea, a six-part series airing this fall. "We've been proud to be associated with Ken's work over the years, as he is certainly the 'gold standard' of documentary filmmaking," GM spokeswoman Kelly Cusinato told The Detroit News. "But the company's financial crisis has forced GM to rein in such spending."