Nov 2, 2009

WXEL sale hits a paperwork snag

A local group interested in buying the license for WXEL FM and TV in Palm Beach, Fla., has not submitted required documentation, according to owner Barry University, reports The Sun Sentinel. But the Community Broadcast Foundation of Palm Beach and Treasure Coast disagrees. "Now they've come back and say they want documentation of your funding," said Green, who told the paper that Barry officials have refused to meet with his group. "If you meet with us, you can ask us anything you want." The FCC may have to intervene, according to one source. Station ownership has been in flux for years.

Schiller responds to NABJ by "laying out the numbers"

NPR released its staff composition stats after the National Association of Black Journalists questioned the network's commitment to diversity. "I couldn't agree more that NPR must increase the diversity of its staff--particularly in management and editorial," NPR President Vivian Schiller wrote in an Oct. 29 letter to NABJ leaders. "I believe our diversity efforts are best served through transparency, so we are going to lay out the numbers for you." NPR's management pool, which NABJ expressed concern about in an earlier letter to Schiller, includes 47 staff who describe themselves as people of color; that is nearly 24 percent of 199 managers at all levels of the network. Diversity among executive management is 11.8 percent. More than 22 percent of 58 news and programming managers are people of color; 14 percent are African-American. "Another concern not addressed by NABJ or Schiller is that the only on-air African American male is Juan Williams, who is not a staff employee," writes NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard, in a recent column. "Over a year ago, NPR's management put him on contract as a news analyst." The lack of diversity within NPR management was apparent to Shepard when she joined NPR two years ago. "Since then, there have been diversity meetings, committees, surveys, and they all conclude . . . NPR must focus on diversifying its staff, especially if NPR wants to better reflect the population and continue to expand its audience."

Father of pubcasting to talk about "Saving the News"

Ward Chamberlin, one of the founders of American pubcasting, is one of four journalists who will discuss "Saving the News" Wednesday evening at Yale University, according to the New Haven Register. Chamberlin was COO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting at its inception in 1967, and helped create PBS and NPR. Others in the panel are David Greenway, former editor of the editorial and op-ed pages of the Boston Globe; Robert Kaiser, associate editor and senior correspondent at the Washington Post; and John Yemma, editor of the Christian Science Monitor.