Mar 18, 2009

CNN news exec will lead Georgia Public Broadcasting

Teya Ryan, a former CNN producer and executive, has been named president and executive director of Georgia Public Broadcasting, the network announced today. Ryan, who starts April 1, is GPB's first top exec in five years without “acting” or “interim” in her job title. Ryan started her career in pubTV at KCET in Los Angeles, produced environmental and business news for CNN and rose to head CNN Headline News and then in 2002 CNN's domestic news channel. Her work has won seven Emmys and two cable ACE awards. In 2004 she briefly worked for then-PBS President Pat Mitchell, a fellow CNN alumna, to plan the PBS Public Square channel. The network’s overspending in the late '90s caused the state to bring in state accounting officials -- Claude Vickers, James Lyle and Bonnie Bean -- to run the network for much of the past nine years. After Lyle retired in 2004, GPB’s former legislative liaison, Nancy Hall, served as interim director until November 2008, when former c.f.o., Bonnie Bean, was named acting director.

Sesame military family program airs for Pentagon reps

Pentagon officials today got a sneak peek at Coming Home: Military Families Cope With Change, a new Sesame Workshop special. On hand were Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. The half-hour program starring Queen Latifah and singer John Mayer tells stories of injured service members returning home, and explores the struggles they and their families face. The program airs on PBS April 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern (check local listings). The show is part of Sesame Workshop's Talk, Listen, Connect initiative.

Who is the Development Professional of a year like this?

The Public Radio Association of Development Officers is soliciting nominations for its 2009 Development Professional of the Year -- a station-based individual who has demonstrated excellence. The recipient will be announced at the Public Radio Development and Marketing Conference, July 8-10 in San Diego. Nomination deadline: midnight, May 15. Rules and nomination form are posted at See more scintillating possibilities in Current's Opportunities.

Funders sought to revive "Day to Day"

In a feature on the impending demise of NPR's Day to Day, the Los Angeles Times reports that Bill Davis, president of KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., is trying to raise $500,000 to create a "daughter" of the Los Angeles-based midday show. Its last broadcast via NPR is Friday, March 20.

FCC announces final station DTV transition dates

The FCC has released its list of stations terminated digital service on or before the June 12 deadline. Of PBS stations, 125 will transition on June 12. Of those switching before that deadline, 14 will do so this month, 37 in April, six in May and one on June 10 -- that's KRWG in Las Cruces, N.M. Why? Because June 12 is a Friday. "The regular phones aren't manned over the weekend," Glen Cerny, director of broadcasting, told Current. "We felt it was important to be here when we turned off the analog for any calls. I talked to our engineers, and we just thought it better to be here. Just to reduce that anxiety." Here's the FCC list of stations transitioning on June 12, and those going before. (Both are PDFs.)

Pubcasters cover South by Southwest

NPR Music's coverage of the 2009 South by Southwest music festival revs up in earnest tonight with a live stream of the NPR-sponsored showcase that features the Decemberists performing their new release, Hazards of Love. A guide to all the SXSW performances produced by NPR Music and pubradio stations is here, but you can also follow via this twitter feed and this blog. In this All Things Considered segment, NPR's Bob Boilen previewed this year's festival and reveals which bands he's most interested in seeing live. SXSW coverage by hometown station KUT in Austin is here. KEXP in Seattle and KCRW in Santa Monica also offer exclusive live performances for their hometown and Web audiences. PBS's coverage of last weekend's SXSW Interactive and Film conference, including an interview with NPR's Andy Carvin, is here, and Poynter Online reports on a March 15 panel discussion of APIs for media organizations that included NPR Digital's Daniel Jacobson.

Congress members try to bring back KUHT politics show

Houston-area congressmen, University of Houston and Houston PBS are in the midst of a political drama regarding KUHT's weekly political program Red, White and Blue. Soon after the November election the show, with local GOP and Democrat co-hosts, was suspended. It was one of the few local shows about politics. That prompted U.S. Rep. Al Green to write to UH Chancellor Renu Khator, saying in part: "The entire viewing area gained from the public discussions generated by the hosts in a format we observed to be both balanced and challenging.” State Rep. Ellen Cohen, D-Houston, also expressed her support to Khator. Recently General Manager John Hesse said the program will be reinstated, but a meeting last week with its co-hosts was postponed.

AOL hires veteran journalists for political website launching next month

With its plans to launch a new political website in April, AOL is moving into the business of delivering original news content, according to this story in The Wrap. Top editor is Melinda Henneberger, a veteran of the New York Times, Newsweek and Slate; writers include Carl Cannon of National Journal, USA Today columnist Walter Shapiro, and Patricia Murphy, creator of AOL is calculating that the "glut" of experienced journalists looking for work has created a new opportunity "to create a New York Times-like empire on the Internet--one that is native to the web and knows how to use its strengths and quirks," The Wrap reports.