Jun 22, 2009

You Must Hear This new ATC segment

NPR Music and All Things Considered launch a new summer music series today. For "You Must Hear This," musicians from various genres will pick a favorite piece of music and explain why it inspires them. In the debut segment, Jesse Carmichael and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 reveal their love for Prince's Purple Rain. "It's Hendrix, it's James Brown, it's outer space, it's church, it's sex, it's heavy metal," says Levine. "But at the end of the day, it's just Prince at his absolute best — in my not-so-humble opinion." Audio from the segment won't be posted until this evening, but NPR Music has the web page up with music videos for two songs on the record.

RIP Llewellyn's TV

Llewellyn King of White House Chronicle, recently experienced a death in the family: The old Sony TV in the living room. But instead of mourning, they're rejoicing. "The luxury of not having one is palpable," he writes in The Herald in Monterey County, Calif. "No more arguing about what to watch. No more compulsive, irrational channel surfing. It is bliss."

Renewal funding, new e.p. for "The Takeaway"

CPB awarded a $1.35 million renewal grant to The Takeaway, the morning drive-time show hosted by John Hockenberry and produced at New York's WNYC. President Pat Harrison says the show is "compelling and participatory" and affirms that public media belongs to "not just some of the people, but all of the people," in a news release from Public Radio International, co-producer and distributor. The Takeaway radio show and website, picked up by 42 stations since its launch last April, also has a new executive producer. Mark Effron, a TV news and digital media exec who has supervised news coverage for the MSNBC cable net and Post-Newsweek TV stations, most recently served as president of Titan TV Media, which helps local stations develop ad revenues with their websites. He started on the job last week.

Transition returns MHz to airwaves

Here's one service that's thrilled with the DTV transition, which brought it back to life for its viewers. MHz Networks, owned by Commonwealth Public Broadcasting, carries international programming into 27 million households nationwide. MHz's analog signal to its two channels went dark in September; it was the country's first station to switch off. That caused empty static for many fans in the spot it used to occupy. Then, after the final June 12 transition and rescans by viewers ... "We got calls from people all over saying, 'You're back!' " said CEO Frederick Thomas. Unfortunately the transition was bumpier for other stations: Current reported on the ongoing problems with channels disappearing from their usual spots after the transition -- problems that in some states went all the way to the governor's office and Congress.

KMBH warns of "scam or fantasy" as its critics seek support for a new station

KMBH-FM, in Harlingen, Texas, is warning listeners that anyone else soliciting donations for public radio in the Rio Grande Valley "may be a scam or a fantasy." The Brownsville Herald reports that the on-air spots trouble organizers of Voices of the Valley, which is asking for pledges of support to establish an independent public radio service for the region. KMBH, which also operates a public TV station, is controlled by the Catholic Church. Msgr. Pedro Briseño, the president of KMBH and pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Harlingen, denies that the spots are intended to discredit Voices from the Valley. "We are not in the business of attacking anybody or campaigning against anything. We have no interest on useless debates of opinions," Briseño tells the Herald. "Any negative reaction to our warning is perhaps a confirmation that such a warning was needed to protect the public of the Rio Grande Valley from scams." Voices from the Valley could be ready to launch the new station as early as September, organizer Betsy Price tells Current. "We have collected over 200 pledges of support, secured major donors, and are talking partnership with Texas Public Radio," she wrote.