Apr 20, 2010

APM affiliate agrees to buy FM in Palm Beach

After trying for five years to sell its public TV/radio combo in Palm Beach, Fla., Barry University has unloaded the FM station separately. Classical South Florida, an offshoot of Minnesota-based American Public Media, will buy WXEL-FM for $3.85 million, offer jobs to its present staff and program the classical/news station separately from its all-classical Miami station, WKCP, the Palm Beach Post reports. “CSF plans to strengthen its classical music programming while continuing to provide NPR news and public affairs content to the region,” according to a joint CSF/Barry news release. The university north of Miami, which rescued the shaky WXEL in 1997, was talking with at least three prospective buyers last fall, but the Palm Beach school district decided to spend its loose change on schooling instead, and Barry hasn’t reached an agreement with either Miami’s WPBT or a Palm Beach nonprofit formed to acquire WXEL.

Nonprof news orgs and pubcasters take part in investigative reporting symposium

Pubcasters were well represented at the fourth annual Reva and David Logan Investigative Reporting Symposium this past weekend, sponsored by Berkeley University's Graduate School of Journalism. Here's a followup by reporter Chris O'Brien of the San Jose Mercury News, on MediaShift. Participating in panels were: David Fanning and Raney Aronson-Rath of Frontline; Susanne Reber of NPR; Linda Winslow of PBS Newshour; and reporter Amy Isackson of KPBS, San Diego. O'Brien calls the meeting "inspiring," and takes note of the attendance of reps from nonprofit news orgs that didn't exist until the last year or two. "Whatever one thinks of the wisdom of these models, I take it as a positive sign that people are moving past the talking phase and into the doing phase," he notes.

San Mateo's KCSM rallying after serious funding woes

A donor has stepped forward with $400,000 to help struggling KCSM-TV/FM in San Mateo, Calif., reports the San Matean. The station is also finalizing a $120,000 spectrum lease agreement to share about one-third of its Mbps bandwidth with Sezmi, which meshes wireless broadcasting with broadband Internet for an alternative source of TV programming. The station is negotiating two more spectrum lease agreements worth about $100,000 each, including with KQED in San Francisco. All that sufficiently reassured KCSM's Board of Directors at the San Mateo County Community College District, and it voted to provide a one-year funding extension. In January the station raised only $30,000 of a $1 million fundraising goal, and it dropped PBS last year due to funding problems.

Jim DeRogatis brings his sound opinions to

Music journalist Jim DeRogatis is leaving the Chicago Sun-Times to take a full-time teaching position at Columbia College Chicago and take up blogging for Chicago Public Radio's Chicago media critic Robert Feder, a former Sun-Times colleague who began blogging for Vocalo last fall, broke the news. “We have always wanted a blogger to cover music for,” Justin Kaufmann, senior content developer for Chicago Public Radio tells Feder. “Jim is arguably the best music writer in Chicago, if not the nation. We couldn’t be happier. He is going to take our blogs to a whole new level.” DeRogatis's blog, PopNStuff, launches June 1. He'll continue to co-host Sound Opinions, the weekly public radio show produced by Chicago Public Radio.

UPDATE: DeRogatis tells "The blogging is going to be pretty intensive," he says. "I'm going to be doing basically what I've been doing at the Sun-Times, minus the more trivial chasing-your-tail stories. As a blogger I'll have more freedom to give more insight and not worry about the daily newspaper restrictions, what that job entails."

Get a peek at "Need to Know"

The promo for WNET's new Need to Know is up, check it out here. The weekly news show premieres May 7. That kickoff will be the culmination of the Friday night schedule upheaval, which included Bill Moyers' Journal, Now and Worldfocus all ending (Current, March 22, 2010).