Jun 24, 2010

And now, in pubcasting sports news . . .

ThirTeam, the aptly named softball team from Thirteen/, is on a roll, reveling in three consecutive wins -- 13-6, 15-8, 9-8. The players are current and former employees of the New York City station. "It’s allowed us to stay connected with each other," said Joe Basile, director of program rights and clearances, who has been playing for ThirTeam since it formed in 2004. A few team members and their departments, from left: Manny Santiago, network technologies; Austin Traina, tech support; Christine O’Brien, schedule operations; Ryan DeWitt, research; Dean Li, local corporate marketing; and Basile. (Image:

NPR's latest iPhone app: a new vehicle for sharing music

A new NPR app for iPhone users launched last night. "[W]ith the NPR Music app for the iPhone, we have another crucial new vehicle for sharing music with our audience," writes Anya Grundmann, e.p. of the multi-genre music website, on the Inside NPR blog. The app's launch coincides with release of Apple's newest iPhone, but the software also works on 3GS iPhones and the iPod Touch. It has multitasking capabilities that allow users to listen to audio while doing other things with their iPhones. A New York Times feature on the growing popularity of NPR Music, pegged to the app release, reports that traffic to the website hit 1.7 million unique users in May.

Charleston Gazette: Private nonprofits protect WVPB from politics

Who should control the private monies raised to support West Virginia Public Broadcasting? Not the administration of Governor Joe Manchin, according to editorial writers for the Charleston Gazette. In an editorial published yesterday, the newspaper questions why private donations and CPB grant monies have been transferred from the pubcasting network's sister foundation into state accounts and says the state legislative auditor, who has called for greater regulation of pubcasting monies, has it all wrong. "Frankly, we think it's great for public radio and public TV--the realm of Beethoven symphonies and Masterpiece Theater--to be partly independent, free from politics. It would be dismal for them to be regular state agencies like the Division of Motor Vehicles of Division of Highways."

New York Post questions whether PBS should exist

"Move on, Big Bird," insists a New York Post headline. It cites problems such as WNET's recent federal investigation, then launches into a more broad attack. "Once upon a time, the network’s slogan was: 'If PBS doesn’t do it, who will?' These days, the answer’s obvious: CNN, Fox, A&E . . ." It also asks, "Why the hell is government still in the TV business, anyway? And on such a grand scale?" and concludes that "public broadcasting is an anachronism."

Charlotte PBS affiliate begins cutbacks in staff, programming

The slashing has begun at WTVI in Charlotte, N.C., after Mecklenburg County cut its support from nearly $860,000 to just $95,000, according to the Charlotte Observer. "We cannot continue the business model next year we had this year, and it will be painful," Elsie Garner, WTVI's president, told the station's board Wednesday (June 23). The board approved a $3.2 million budget for the fiscal year beginning in July, a 13 percent reduction from the current fiscal year. Probably two or three jobs will be eliminated from the 16 full timers at the station. WTVI has dropped its contract with Nielsen, about $60,000 annually. The Public Square channel that carried reruns of county commissioners meetings and other pubaffairs programming, is gone, replaced with the international MHz Networks channel, which is free to stations. The Create channel also may be gone soon.