Aug 4, 2011

Broadcasters asking for another delay on new EAS equipment deadline

NPR, PBS and the Association of Public Television Stations are among broadcast organizations asking the Federal Communications Commission to once again extend the deadline for stations to install Common Alerting Protocol-compliant Emergency Alert System equipment. They want at least a six-month extension from the current Sept. 30 date. The clock originally began ticking in October 2010.

In the filing, APTS and PBS argue that because “the deadline for reply comments is set for early August, it is likely a Final Order by the Commission will be released relatively close to the current CAP-compliance deadline. This could make it extremely difficult for stations to comply with newly revised regulations by the current deadline.”

PBS hires two new — but well known — programming veeps

Two names familiar to public broadcasters are coming to PBS as new vice presidents of programming. Beth Hoppe, who begins work Aug. 8, developed the reality frontrunners Frontier House and Colonial House; Donald Thoms, arriving later this month, created the Independent Lens documentary series.

In a statement, PBS Chief Operating Officer Michael Jones called them “smart, talented individuals who truly understand public television and have excellent experience in content development.”

Since 2009, Hoppe has been an e.p. at Discovery Studios, where she developed the series Human Nature and other projects. She also worked as president and c.e.o. of indie TV producers Optomen Productions from 2004 to 2009; and from 1998 to 2004, she served as director, science programs, for WNET in New York.

Since 2009 Thoms has led his ThomsMediaGroup (TMG), a multimedia consultant focusing on TV production and development; his clients included Discovery, WNET and MTV. He also served as vice president, program production at DiscoveryHealth Channel from 1999 to 2007, overseeing daily operations. Previously he was vice president of talent development and casting for Discovery Communications. He worked at PBS as vice president, program management from 1993 to 1999.

170 Million Americans campaign offers exclusive music download

170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting and ANTI- Records are releasing "Raise Your Voice!," a 16-track music compilation free only to pubcasting fans who sign up for the ongoing online advocacy campaign. Artists include Wilco, Tom Waits, Dr. Dog, Mavis Staples, Lost in the Trees, Neko Case and Booker T. Jones. In a statement, Ari Picker, frontman for Lost in the Trees, said: “Our culture needs public broadcasting. And public radio has been an enormous resource for musicians like myself.”

Native Public Media's Morris appointed to FCC advisory committee

Traci Morris, director of operations for Native Public Media (NPM) will represent tribal interests on the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee. The committee helps “amplify the voices of many of the least-served communities and constituencies in current policy debates,” said Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, an NPM partner, in a statement. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that as the representative of Native Public Media, Morris “will be a voting member of the CAC, helping us to ensure that all Americans have access to modern communications services.”