Oct 22, 2009

Two Frontline shows prompt comments to PBS ombudsman

The latest column from Michael Getler, PBS ombudsman, focuses on two Frontline programs: "Obama's War," which continues to draw mail after its Oct. 13 premiere, and its more recent offering, "The Warning," about "the smart, courageous but unheeded former chief of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Brooksley Born," and her attempts in the 1990s to draw attention to the potential for financial collapse.

Moline's WQPT trades up to a bigger university licensee

Rather than going independent, the Quad Cities’ fiscally distressed pubTV station, WQPT, will move its license to a different higher-ed institution. Now it’s expected to be licensed to four-year Western Illinois University, which recently won state capital funding to start building a larger campus in Moline, on the Mississippi almost 100 miles north of WIU’s home campus in Macomb. More on

Reality comes to FCC

It's safe to say this isn't your typical FCC official: Yul Kwon, winner of the reality show Survivor: Cook Islands in 2006, was appointed Wednesday as deputy chief of the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, reports The Washington Post's Reliable Source column. The Yale law grad's wedding was covered by the TV Guide Channel, and he co-hosted Discovery Channel's "Shark Week."

News cooperative for Chicago

A hybrid news organization committed to public service journalism will begin producing coverage of the Chicago region next month. The Chicago News Cooperative, announced today by veteran newspaper editor James O'Shea, sealed a deal to produce coverage for Chicago editions of the New York Times twice a week. WTTW, a public TV station with a longstanding tradition of producing local news coverage, is a founding partner in the cooperative and will provide a home to the nonprofit during start-up. WBEZ, Chicago's dominant public radio station, may also join the partnership. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is providing major funding to CNC during start-up; business plans call for the cooperative to solicit donations from individuals and other foundations, and to earn revenues through its partnership with the Times and other potential outlets [via Romensko].

UPDATE: In a memo announcing the CNC partnership to staff, WTTW President Dan Schmidt said the station is acting as a fiscal agent for the cooperative and will not tap any of its own revenues to support it. The CNC website Chicago Scoop, which is expected to go live early next year, will post content that is "highly Chicago and Illinois-focused," Schmidt wrote. CNC staff writers and columnists will appear on WTTW broadcasts and their stories may also appear on