Sep 30, 2011

Pubcaster elected chairman of Radio Television Digital News Association

Michigan Radio News Director Vincent Duffy is the new chairman of the board of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), the first public media news director elected to the position. Members chose Duffy during the 2011 Excellence in Journalism Conference this week in New Orleans. Here's a roundup of other news from the meeting.

Alvarado, Jackson, Taylor named to FCC Diversity Committee

Three public broadcasters have been named to the Federal Communication Commission's Diversity Committee (PDF). Joaquin Alvarado, senior vice president for digital innovation for American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio; Maxie Jackson, president of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters; and Loris Ann Taylor, president of Native Public Media, will serve on the committee, which advises the commission on policies and practices to enhance diversity in telecommunications. It is chaired by former FCC Commissioner Henry Rivera. The committee's first meeting will be Dec. 6.

Labor HHS proposal would block NPR funds, asks CPB to wean radio money by 2014

The draft for the House Appropriations Committee's fiscal 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services bill, introduced Thursday (Sept. 29) by the subcommittee chairman Denny Rehburg (R-Mont.), would prohibit the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from funding NPR, and requests a report from CPB on how to remove NPR from federal funding by 2014. CPB receives the expected $445 million in funding over the upcoming year. In all, the bill proposes a 2.5 percent reduction in total discretionary funding over 2011, and 15.2 percent less than President Barack Obama's budget request. Details from the committee here.

A spokesperson for the House Appropriations Committee told Current that specifics on the report requested from CPB regarding NPR will be made public when the bill moves to the full committee for mark up. 

UPDATE: The Association of Public Television Stations issued this statement regarding the Labor-HHS proposal. "The House Appropriations Committee's draft of the Labor-HHS bill contains some welcome provisions for public broadcasting as well as some very troubling ones. It is important to note that this is the subcommittee chairman's draft and not a bill formally reported by the full committee. We look forward to working with the House, the Senate and the Administration on a final bill that assures federal funding for public broadcasting that reflects and supports our essential services to the public."

NPR also told Current in a statement: "The ongoing debate over federal funding for public broadcasting is about local stations and the communities they serve. These local stations are invaluable community resources that rely on federal funds to inform their audiences. Eliminating or limiting federal funds will have far-reaching, negative impacts on local stations and, ultimately, on the listeners and communities that rely upon them. This impact will be most pronounced in rural and underserved communities, where local media choices are already limited and declining, but also across the public broadcasting system where local public broadcasting stations have become prominent, essential public service entities."