Dec 8, 2009

More on Liasson's Fox News appearances

NPR Executive Editor Dick Meyer denies any connection between his request that political correspondent Mara Liasson reconsider her appearances on the Fox News channel and the White House's recent campaign to discredit the cable outlet as a mouthpiece of the Republican Party. "NPR has not had any communication of any kind with the White House regarding the status of any of our reporters or their work for anyone outside of NPR," Meyer wrote in an email to NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard. "Any suggestion to the contrary is simply false." The suggestion, put forward yesterday in an anonymously sourced story by Politico, has stirred up the blogosphere and generated 142 emails to NPR in roughly 24 hours, according Shepard.

Sesame gets into the eBook business

SesameWorkshop today announced its first eBooks for Sesame Street. Several are now online for free, with more titles available for purchase in spring 2010, the Workshop said in a statement. There'll also be an annual subscription that provides access to more than 100 books, with new titles added monthly. The eBooks "will help us leverage our library of 40 years worth of traditional print publishing,” said Scott Chambers, the Workshop's s.v.p. of worldwide media distribution. The Workshop's top-selling title, The Monster at the End of This Book, is the first eBook (above).

More choices for mobile NPR fans

NPR is expanding its mobile offerings with two services unveiled today: a redesigned and expanded NPR Mobile Web service for users of Blackberry and other mobile devices not sold by Apple; and an Android app to be released later this month. NPR Mobile Web now has the look and feel of the NPR News app for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch; its enhancements include new search capabilities, higher-quality audio, and access to the live streams of all NPR stations. “The mobile [web] relaunch allows to us to address the BlackBerry platform," says Demian Perry, head of NPR mobile operations, in this interview with paidContent. "The BlackBerry has six different operating systems, which is an added complication in terms of creating an app.” The NPR News app for Android will have "backgrounding" capabilities, allowing users to listen to audio while toggling through other applications. The open source design of the Android system allows NPR and its member stations to share and incorporate each other's programming more easily, Kinsey Wilson, senior v.p. of digital media, tells paidContent.