Mar 18, 2010

If it's March, it's Muppet Madness time

This month the bracket brouhaha emerges once again, but forget all that March Madness b-ball boredom. This year, try a little Muppet Madness. It's brought to you by MuppetCast, the weekly podcast of all things Jim Henson and Muppets. Who will win in Miss Piggy vs. Pepe? Oscar vs. Big Bird? Bert & Ernie vs. The Count? (Hey, that's two against one ...) You may vote in all the matches each 12 hours until April 5.

Mobile DTV superior to broadband, coalition says

In reaction to the new National Broadband Plan, the Open Mobile Video Coalition told a teleconference of reporters today that mobile DTV is superior to broadband to deliver mobile video, reports TVNewsCheck. Brandon Burgess, CEO of Ion Media and coalition chair, said broadcasting can simultaneously deliver video to millions of viewers without overworking Internet and cellphone networks. "No other solution out there can really do that," he said. The coalition is made up of more than 800 private and public television stations in America, as well as PBS, CPB and APTS.

Leading Gen! series garners attention

The Leading Gen!, currently carried by some 120 PBS affiliates, seems to be on a publicity roll. Last month Daily Variety TV critic Brian Lowry described the 13-part series on aging, introducing readers to neurosurgeon James Ausman and wife Carolyn, producers, and adding that for PBS, " ... catering to those over 50 -- the people who are predominantly watching public TV anyway -- isn't just good business; it's a no-brainer." Last week the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., wrote that producing station KVCR-DT in San Bernardino calls it “the ultimate reality show,” and it's won two Telly Awards. And today, on the wildly popular blog the Daily Beast, gossip columnist Liz Smith talks about it in a piece headlined, "The great untapped 80-something market."

California's KOCE partnering with web news network

KOCE in Huntington Beach, Calif., is joining the Orange County Local News Network (OCLNN), owned by the for-profit web journalism chain United States Local News Network. OCLNN reporters will file stories for KOCE’s Real Orange news program, and its digital OC Channel. Some KOCE-produced content will also be at The two will also work together on local public affairs projects.

SXSW showcase a "plum gig" for Spoon & a coming out party for NPR Music

As the South by Southwest Music festival keeps getting bigger and bigger, the potential for bands to break through to commercial success diminish, observes New York Times ArtsBeat blogger Ben Sisario. He points to last night's opening showcase, sponsored by NPR Music and headlined by Austin's own Spoon, as a case in point: "It was a plum gig, reflecting not only Spoon’s preeminence but also the emergence of NPR as a major force in independent music. . . . [T]he band was received as heroes, symbolizing the best of what South by Southwest is about: artistic credibility, insouciant cool, left-of-the-dial independence. The implicit message was that Spoon are the top of the heap, the highest that a South by Southwest band can aspire to. But by the numbers, Spoon is still a startup: its new album, 'Transference' (Merge), has been out for eight weeks and sold 121,000 copies. And there are lots of Spoons out there, famous to small slivers of an audience but unknown to everybody else, and probably pretty comfortable that way, or at least used to it." Details and links to more SXSW music coverage from NPR and public radio stations are here.