Nov 15, 2010

NTIA sets mid-2013 to begin spectrum reallocation

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recommended today (Nov. 15) that 115 MHz of spectrum be reallocated for wireless broadband service within the next five years. The Federal Communications Commission will need to identify the spectrum by mid-2011 and begin removing broadcasters by mid-2013, it said in a timetable for identifying and releasing spectrum for wireless broadband. President Barack Obama’s goal is to free up some 500 MHz over the next decade. Public broadcast stations will need to decide whether to participate in the voluntary giveback (Current, Feb. 8). While there was talk about using funds from the spectrum auction to create a public broadcasting trust fund, Obama in June signaled he preferred other uses for the cash.

Former APTS president Lawson to head up Mobile500 Alliance

John Lawson, former president of the Association of Public Television Stations, is the new executive director of the Mobile500 Alliance, the group announced today (Nov. 15). The Alliance is a broadcasting collective working to accelerate availability of mobile digital television, which allows consumers to see live TV on laptops, tablets, smart phones and other mobile devices via a broadcast signal. Lawson will help secure content arrangements and work with electronics manufacturers to enhance device features.

Lawson ran APTS from 2001 to 2008. He was e.v.p. of broadcast company ION Media Networks from 2008 until earlier this year. In April, Lawson re-launched his consulting firm, Convergence Services Inc., which he will continue to run in addition to his new responsibilities. (Image: Current)

Drool on camera first, retire later

Jim Lehrer, the well-anchored anchor of PBS NewsHour, told the Dallas Morning News that he'll have to "start drooling on the air" before he'll retire. Being a journalist, he added, is "a state of mind – some of the youngest people I know in journalism are 76 years old, and some of the oldest are 23. It's little-boy-and-little-girl work. You hear the fire engine, and you want to know where it's going. I still want to know." And, yes, another of his many books is coming out next year, this one called Tension City. It's about Lehrer's experiences moderating presidential debates. The title comes from an interview Lehrer did with President George H.W. Bush, in which he said, "Oh, Jim, those debates. They're tension city."