Sep 3, 2009

Viewers mourn "Reading Rainbow" in letters to ombudsman

Nearly 80 viewers wrote to PBS or ombudsman Michael Getler to lament the end of the long-running Reading Rainbow (Current, Aug. 6). Several of the letters Getler shared are quite emotional; one Portland, Ore., woman calls the show's demise "a crime against literacy."

Site offers comprehensive overview of Mount Wilson towers

Curious about the broadcasting tower site above Mount Wilson, threatened this week by Los Angeles wildfires? Tower aficionado Scott Fybush has two pages (here and here), complete with photos, detailing what area stations have equipment atop the mile-high mountain--which turns out to be many area broadcasters. Fybush is a radio transmission tower expert, as well as part-time pubcaster on WXXI in Rochester, N.Y. Latest on the fire: Broadcast engineers have begun returning to the mountain to assess equipment damage, according to Television Broadcast site.

NBC to reinvent "Prime Suspect"

NBC has ordered a two-hour pilot remake of the longtime Masterpiece staple "Prime Suspect," reveals The Hollywood Reporter. The popular ITV show starring Helen Mirren ran on PBS from 1992 through 2006 (Current, Nov. 6, 2006). The new one will be co-produced by ITV and Universal Media studios. "We want to carefully choose a couple of iconic titles this year to reinvent, and our intention is to create another classic television show from this brilliant original format," said Angela Bromstad, NBC and UMS president of primetime entertainment.

CPB searching for grants consultant, PBCore 2.0 program manager

CPB is looking for:
-- A broadband grants consultant to assist stations applying to the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service. Details here.
-- A PBCore 2.0 development project manager. The manager for the 12-month assignment will report directly to CPB's veep of digital media strategy. Details here.

KPBS receives $2.5 million gift

KPBS will create an interactive newsroom for multimedia and multi-platform projects with a $2.5 million gift announced today. The donation came from Irwin Jacobs, co-founder and former chairman of Qualcomm, and his wife Joan, longtime supporters of the San Diego station. Right now reporters, writers, producers and support staff work throughout the building. “It was time we created a physical environment where all news and content producers can work collaboratively,” said Tom Karlo, KPBS general manager.