Sep 28, 2011

Cops nab WNET MetroFocus journalist at Wall Street protests

A Web editor with WNET's new MetroFocus local news and culture site was arrested while reporting on citizen journalism at this week's protests on Wall Street. John Farley wrote that he was "thrown against a wall and handcuffed with hard plastic zip-tie restraints. I sat on the sidewalk with about 50 others. I yelled over and over, 'I’m press! I’m with WNET MetroFocus! Please do not arrest me.'" Farley said he didn't have press credentials because MetroFocus is less than three months old, so it doesn't yet meet NYPD’s criteria for news organizations. He was in custody for nine hours, eight of which were in a jail cell at the 1st Precinct, and released around 10:30 p.m.

DeAnne Hamilton to lead WESA in Pittsburgh

DeAnne Hamilton becomes president of WESA-90.5 FM in Pittsburgh on Oct. 17, Essential Public Radio announced today (Sept. 28). She previously was general manager of WKAR at Michigan State University, and was a vice president and station manager of KQED Public Television in San Francisco. Hamilton also is a member of the PBS Board of Directors. Essential Public Media finalized its $6 million deal this month to buy the former WDUQ from Duquesne University.

New PBS primary in Orlando raises $60,000 in first pledge drive

WUCF-TV, the new PBS primary station in Orlando, Fla., has raised $60,000 in its first pledge drive, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Grant Heston, assistant vice president of news and information at licensee University of Central Florida, said he was "very pleased," and looking forward to larger numbers for its next fundraiser in December. The station took a "low-key approach" to the drive, the paper noted, with no announced goal. WUCF-TV, a partnership between the university and Brevard Community College, signed on as the primary on July 1, in the wake of the sale announcement of WMFE-TV (Current, April 18, 2011).

Documents reveal financial struggles for Michigan State's WKAR

In recent years, Michigan State University has provided an average annual subsidy of $3.5 million for WKAR-TV and radio — about one-third of its budget, according to financial statements obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the the State Journal in Lansing, Mich. Neither Gary Reid, director of broadcasting, nor Pamela Whitten, college dean, could say what future MSU funding levels will be for WKAR, the paper said. Last month WKAR laid off 10 employees. The pubTV and radio station had combined operating shortfalls of $411,158 in fiscal year 2008, $929,237 in 2009 and $634,991 in 2010, according to financial documents.