Aug 18, 2009

Chance meeting charms PBS Hawaii staff

PBS Hawaii staffers were treated to a meeting of two divas in the station lobby recently, reports President and CEO Leslie Wilcox in her blog. Both Hawaii Opera singer Marlene Sai and Broadway actress Loretta Ables-Sayre starred in productions of South Pacific; Ables-Sayre landed a Tony nomination for her performance. The two, in the station for separate tapings of the weekly show Long Story Short, hugged, held hands and chatted "for a long time," Wilcox says.

Twelve WUFT employees riffed in Gainesville

Campus-wide lay-offs announced yesterday by the University of Florida include 12 employees of Gainesville's WUFT-TV/FM, the public broadcasting outlets that are being reorganized by outside consultants to College of Journalism and Communications Dean John Wright. "I don't know how they're going to run things," Bill Beckett, program manager of WUFT-FM, tells the Gainesville Sun. As a faculty member, Beckett has a year before his job ends; staff who aren't on the faculty will be out the door in 45 days. Lay-off notifications came down on the same day that classical music fans mounted a street protest of WUFT's recent switch to an all-news format. The Chalkboard, a blog following UF news, has details of 60 jobs lost across the university; comments posted there so far deal entirely with the changes at WUFT. (Corrected from an earlier post after WUFT General Manager Larry Dankner confirmed that the Sun misreported the number of lay-offs. Pink slips went to employees of the public radio and television stations; the university's commercial stations, WRUF-FM/AM, were not affected by the riffs.)