Sep 12, 2011

WJCT in Florida dropping three shows, including APHC, due to budget cuts

WJCT/89.9 FM in Jacksonville, Fla., is dropping A Prairie Home Companion along with two other shows due to the loss of state funding, according to the St. Augustine Record. It's the station's most expensive weekly show, at $26,682 for 2011, station President Michael Boylan told the paper. As of Oct. 1, the show will be replaced with Bob Edwards Weekend at a cost of $1,871 a year.

Also on Oct. 1, the BBC's World Have Your Say will sub for Tell Me More and locally produced music shows will run instead of World of Opera.

Boylan said that the dual licensee is facing a $500,000 shortfall on its planned $5.7 million budget, after Gov. Rick Scott cut off state funding to all stations in May.

Boylan said those three shows don't draw large audiences: APHC averaged 2,300 listeners live at 6 p.m. Saturdays, and 4,000 during its repeat at 2 p.m. Sundays. Also, Tell Me More's cost to the station is rising from about $8,000 a year to $16,500.

WHYY's Nessa Forman dies at 68

Former WHYY executive Nessa Forman died Saturday night (Sept. 10) of complications from pancreatic cancer at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse in Philadelphia. She was 68.

She retired in 2007 from the station as vice president of corporate communications and public affairs. She had worked at WHYY since 1983.

"Nessa has managed her illness the way that she managed her life," Bill Marrazzo, president of WHYY, said in an interview on Sept. 9 with the Philadelphia Inquirer, "always with considerable grace, good humor and fully engaged in a broad palette of current events."

Marrazzo said that at WHYY, "she set the highest standards for professionalism, loyalty to the principles of public media ... and being the best WHYY shopper for clever gifts ever."

Jonathan Storm, The Inquirer's television critic, said, "It's not exaggerating to say she was friends with everybody she dealt with, whether it was a TV critic who regularly assailed WHYY or one of the social [set] who supported it. She was a wonderfully caring and kindhearted person."

Services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday (Sept. 13), at WHYY, followed at 1 p.m. by burial in Rodef Sholom Cemetery in Egg Harbor Township. Donations may be sent to the Nessa Forman, David Forman, Eleanor and Solomon Forman Family Fund at the Philadelphia Foundation, Suite 1800, 1234 Market St., Philadelphia 19107.

Temporary hosts rotate into Need to Know anchor chair

WNET's Need to Know will have several temporary hosts, including an NPR veteran, reports the New York Times, in the wake of Alison Stewart's departure. Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday, will fill the chair this week. Coming soon will be Maria Hinojosa of Now on PBS, Ray Suarez of PBS NewsHour and Jeff Greenfield, a network news vet who also hosted WTTW's national production CEO Exchange on PBS. WNET programmer Stephen Segaller called it an "interim arrangement" to provide the program “some breathing room” as the station ponders its future.

Also, NTK Executive Producer Shelley Lewis is being replaced by Marc Rosenwasser, whose background includes work on ABC and NBC newsmagazines as well as executive producing WNET's Worldfocus, which was canceled just before NTK premiered last year.