Jul 30, 2009

Eight pubstations drop from Time Warner lineups in two states

Time Warner Cable is dropping eight of 22 public TV channels in Ohio and Kentucky. Gone are two pubTV stations from basic cable and six from its digital service, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer: WCVN in Covington, Ky.; WPTD (Think TV 16) in Dayton; the Kids channel from Cincinnati's CET; WPTO (Think TV 14) in high def, and digital multicast channels. Time Warner is replacing one with the Home Shopping Network. The company says it is making the changes to prevent duplicate programming.

Huell Howser, indie producer extraordinaire

Indie producer Huell Howser, who's been associated with KCET for nearly 25 years, "is a kind of natural wonder," writes LA Times TV critic Robert Lloyd, "practically the last living representative of local television in Los Angeles, and for all I know, in America ... " Howser has seven series now in production, including California's Gold, California's Green, Downtown, Road Trip and Visiting, carried by many of the state's PBS affiliates. "I don't have an agent," Howser, 58, told Lloyd. "I don't have a manager, I don't have a press agent, I don't have a wardrobe guy, a makeup guy, a parking space, a dressing room. It's basically me and a cameraman and an editor and a couple of guys in the office. I can go out between now and noon and do a full 30-minute show just talking to people on the street and have it on the air tonight. It's an economic model that's a production model, but it's a model that I believe in philosophically as far as what the viewer should

Pierson plans her NFCB retirement for January

Carol Pierson, president of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, told member stations this week that she’ll retire in January after 13 years in the job. In that time, the Oakland-based group has grown from less than 100 to nearly 150 member stations, developed the affiliated group Native Public Media, which is working with 30-some Native American groups with construction permits for new pubradio stations, and with the fledgling Latino Public Radio Consortium. Pierson, who will be 65, says she plans to spend some time visiting with her daughter and granddaughter in England and her sister in Spain. NFCB will advertise for a successor next week (on this site at, with an application deadline of Sept. 11. Pierson’s deputy, Ginny Berson, is chairing the transition committee.

Raz gets green light as weekend ATC host

Guy Raz, best known for covering the wartime Pentagon for NPR, is graduating to official weekend host of All Things Considered. He had guest-hosted for several months, kicking off a Three-Minute Fiction contest that has so far received 5,000 listener entries. Joining NPR in 1997 [bio], he served as an ATC intern and as an aide to Daniel Schorr. He reported for the network from more than 40 countries, becoming bureau chief in Berlin in 2000 and in London in 2003. Raz then reported for CNN for two years, serving as its Jerusalem correspondent. Andrea Seabrook, the previous weekend host, has returned to covering Congress after a year in the role.

Erie's WQLN scores Canadian cable victory

WQLN-TV in Erie, Pa., will continue to broadcast into London, Ontario, in an agreement reached late Tuesday with Canada's Rogers Cable, according to the Erie Times News. Rogers originally had decided to replace WQLN-TV with Detroit Public Television for that area. WQLN protests as it receives about $200,000 in annual pledges from the London vicinity. But another problem looms for the station. Dwight Miller, g.m., told the paper that WQLN may still eventually close or cut staff if it receives less than the $250,000 in proposed state funding. "There's still an outside shot we would have difficulty continuing on," Miller said.