Jul 14, 2010

WNET online game brings Revolutionary Boston to teens

WNET/Thirteen will launch on Sept. 21 "Mission U.S.," the first in a series of educational online games targeting "teens and tweens" nationwide, according to a press release. It's part of CPB's $20 million American History and Civics initiative, which was announced in 2005 and funded seven grantees in 2007 (Current, July 9, 2007). The first of 10 "missions" is “For Crown or Colony?,” which takes place just before the American Revolution in Boston. Players follow Nathaniel Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer's apprentice. According to the release, "Nat’s fate rests in players’ hands: Should he complete his apprenticeship and support the Patriots’ cause, remain loyal to the crown, or leave Boston, taking a new job at sea?" The game may be played at home or in school, individually or collaboratively. CPB currently is seeking a consultant to evaluate the American History and Civics project thus far and to help select more grantees.

McCartney disses President Bush during taping of "In Performance" concert

The Washington Post's Reliable Sources columnists are reporting that a cutting remark rocker Paul McCartney made during the taping of a PBS "In Performance at the White House" concert was omitted from the program. His comment came near the end of the June 2 performance, after he received his Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Obama (above, PBS image). After one more song, McCartney told the crowd, "After the last eight years, it's good to have a president that knows what a library is." The Huffington Post said a rep for producing station WETA explained that McCartney's comment came after the program had officially concluded. "Celebrating the Music of Paul McCartney" airs July 28.

Former CPB president joins InterMedia

Robert Coonrod, CPB president from 1997 to 2004, has been chosen CEO of media and communications company InterMedia, the firm said in a press release. The appointment was announced by Richard Carlson, chairman of the InterMedia Board, who served as president of CPB from 1992 to 1997; Coonrod had worked under him there for many years. InterMedia provides cloud communications services to small- and mid-sized businesses. He joins InterMedia from his post as COO of the nonprofit Meridian International Center.

Rhode Island PBS president dies

Robert Fish, president of Rhode Island PBS, died July 9 at his home in Snug Harbor, Rhode Island. He was 65.

He was a member of the Rhode Island Telecommunications Authority, and president of the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association since 2008.

Michael Isaacs, chairman of the telecom authority, said Fish could "turn adversity into advantage. He brought that kind of thinking and leadership to the public television station here in Rhode Island. It was a new perspective from someone who had broadcasting experience in a different arena. Bob knew a lot of people and touched a lot of lives."

His career included serving as g.m. of WRKO talk radio in Boston; chairman of the U.S. Broadcast Group, overseeing seven TV stations; president of G&C Broadcasting, which operated radio stations in Phoenix, Ariz.; and CEO of Federal Communications Corp., which owned and operated stations including Rhode Island’s talk radio WHJJ and rock station WHJY.

Fish was a 1968 graduate of what is now Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I.

He is survived by wife, Jane Fish; two brothers, Kenneth Fish of Warwick, R.I., and Larry Fish of South Kingstown, R.I.; two sons, Brett and Blair Fish; and five grandchildren. Preceding him in death were his parents, Kenneth and Ruth Fish of Warwick, R.I.

Funeral services took place July 13.