Oct 13, 2009

Nicole Childers heads content development for L.A. Public Media

Nicole Childers, former executive producer of NPR's News and Notes, will lead content development for the L.A. Public Media Service, a CPB-backed multimedia outlet targeting young, ethnically diverse listeners in Los Angeles. "We are in the midst of a cultural and media paradigm shift in this country and Nicole is one of those writing the story," said Hugo Morales, executive director of Radio Bilingue, the California-based Latino radio network that is spearheading development of L.A. Public Media. "She is a world-class journalist, an African American who counts Latinos and Anglos in her family journey, and a leader with deep sensitivity and drive to serve diverse audiences." With Childers on board, L.A. Public Media is preparing to hire a national media research firm to help design, test and develop content for the new service, which is slated to launch next year.

Pennsylvania zeroes out pubcasting funds

Gov. Ed Rendell's signature Friday on the Pennsylvania state budget eliminated the state's pubcasting subsidy of $11.3 million. Ramifications at the eight stations have begun: Due to the cut, PBS-39, which covers Lehigh Valley, is canceling production of its 10-year-old local issues mag, Tempo!, according to The Morning Call in Allentown. The station had previously laid off about half its staff. WQED had cut 11 staff positions in July, citing the state budget. Meanwhile, reps of the Commonwealth Foundation, a policy research group in Harrisburg, Pa., backed the governor's decision, saying government-supported pubTV is no longer necessary due to all the choices on cable.

New "Upstairs, Downstairs" coming

The Beeb is remaking the wildly popular show on PBS in the 1970s, Upstairs, Downstairs. Stars Jean Marsh and Dame Eileen Atkins return in this version, which will be set in 1936. The original program followed the lives of both an upper-crust British family as well as their servants. The new series will air in Britain first then on PBS in 2011.