May 31, 2011

Frontline website returns; e.p. Fanning calls hack "disappointing and irresponsible"

Frontline's website is back up after being hit by hackers over the weekend. The group Lulz Boat claimed responsibility on its Twitter account Sunday night (May 29), mentioning retaliation for Frontline's recent documentary, "WikiSecrets." Frontline Executive Producer David Fanning said in a statement on the attack, "We see it as a disappointing and irresponsible act. We have been very open to publishing criticism of the film, and the film itself included multiple points of view. Rather than engaging in that spirit, this is an attempt to chill independent journalism." The attack also involved PBS NewsHour and some pages, which are still under repair but should be up soon. On Monday, NewsHour provided content to viewers via Tumblr.

UPDATE: PBS NewsHour is back up as of 4 p.m. Eastern.

Illinois Public Media continues search for station manager, hires development director

Kate Dobrovolny, former station manager at WILL-AM-FM-TV in Champaign, Ill., who retired in April after 31 years at the station, is spending her summer right where she wants to be: In her garden. Meanwhile, the local News-Gazette reports, Illinois Public Media is conducting a national search for her successor. It's also hired Debbie Hamlett as director of development to replace George Hauenstein, who left last fall. Hamlett was previously development and programming director at South Carolina ETV. Hamlett starts today (May 31).

UPDATE: Current just heard from Hauenstein, who points out he did not retire, as the News-Gazette report states, but instead departed to become chief development officer at Vermont Public Television. Current regrets the error, and now envies Hauenstein's views of fall foliage.

WFUV's Alternate Side gains drive-time slot on city-owned WNYE

The Alternate Side, an HD Radio channel and online stream programmed by New York contemporary music station WFUV-FM, is expanding its broadcast footprint into morning drive-time. A six-hour music show, co-hosted by Russ Borris and Alisa Ali, will air on WNYE 91.5 FM, beginning June 1 from 6 a.m. to noon.

The new programming deal supplants WNYE's three-year relationship with KEXP in Seattle, which brought simulcasts of KEXP's John in the Morning to New York's airwaves in 2008. WNYE is part of NYC Media, owned and operated by the New York City government.

The partnership with WFUV "provides the opportunity to improve our radio content and further workforce development in media at the same time," said Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, which oversees the NYC Media group. It also "comes at no cost to the taxpayer," according to a WFUV's May 31 announcement.

WFUV created and launched The Alternate Side in 2008 as a channel showcasing indie music and new artists. It airs on WFUV's primary channel as a late-night show -- on weeknights from 10 p.m. to midnight.

"The Alternate Side is all about finding and supporting new artists," said Chuck Singleton, WFUV p.d., who led start-up of the service. "The more ways this programming gets out there, the better we're serving our listeners and the many talented bands we play."

Kerger: Aging is all about "testing the boundaries"

PBS President Paula Kerger, 53, is one of several women (including a 74-year-old bodybuilder!) featured in the Washington Post Magazine's May 29 cover story on women and aging. "So many people believe that when they get to a certain point in their lives, it's too late to do something new," she tells the mag. "I believe that testing the boundaries of what you're capable of is what aging is about." Training for and competing in triathalons is one way she's constantly challenging herself "to do something terrifying," she says.

Ibargüen on PBS break proposal: "It's too bad"

Reaction continues regarding PBS's upcoming experiment to interrupt programming four times an hour for underwriting or promotional spots. In a New York Times story Monday (May 31), feedback came from sources including Alberto Ibargüen, a former PBS board chairman and president and chief executive of the Knight Foundation, which finances pubcasting initiatives. “My first reaction is that in any kind of marketing opportunity, if you give up something that is desirable and differentiates you from your competition, it’s too bad, and that’s what this is,” Ibargüen said. However, he noted, "the people of PBS would not do this lightly." And Jon Abbott, president of producing powerhouse WGBH in Boston, said that “we have a lot of people who care about the work and care about our way of presenting work; that trust, the values that people place in public media are things that we are very attentive to and respectful of.”