Oct 23, 2011

Lack of live WBAI coverage of Occupy Wall Street puzzles Local Station Board member

Where is New York City Pacifica Radio WBAI's live coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement? That's what blogger Matthew Lasar is pondering after receiving this note from former WBAI programmer Doug Henwood: "I’m stunned. [The station is] right on Wall Street. They could walk out the door and ask the denizens of Brown Bros Harriman and Deutsche Bank what they make of it. And then walk five minutes down the street to Zuccotti Park and cover breaking news and all kinds of stuff. It could attract a worldwide listenership." Lasar attempted to contact various WBAI execs, and heard back from Mitchel Cohen, chairperson of WBAI’s Local Station Board. "WBAI does NOT lack coverage," Cohen wrote. "There is a lot of it on the air, and almost all of it has been terrific — although it took some doing that first week to get that rolling (which seems to be an unfortunate pattern). What is STILL lacking is, as most radio people would understand, is live coverage, especially of the hour or so last Friday morning when the cops were expected to attack."

"I still have been unable to find out the real story" as to the lack of live reports, Cohen added.

Nonprofit news site Bay Citizen loses c.e.o, one month after editor's departure

Lisa Frazier, c.e.o. of The Bay Citizen nonprofit news website, has announced that she is leaving for personal reasons. This follows Bay Citizen Editor Jonathan Weber's departure in September to join Reuters. Frazier has led the news organization since its founding. Her appointment in January 2010 "raised eyebrows," the San Francisco Business Times noted, "both for her lack of direct media experience and her salary of $400,000."

Simeone to stay on as "World of Opera" host, WDAV to distribute show

NPR is dropping distribution of World of Opera as of Nov. 11. The new distributor will be WDAV Classical Public Radio in Charlotte, N.C., and licensed to Davidson College. Lisa Simeone will continue as the show's host, the licensee said. Simeone, a freelance radio broadcaster, was fired Oct. 19 from Soundprint, the independently produced long-form doc series, for violating NPR's ethics code due to her role as spokesperson for “October 2011,” an anti-war group aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Dana Davis Rehm, NPR's s.v.p. for communications, said the change in distribution was made due to NPR and WDAV's "different views about the role of a program host." She said NPR believes hosts "represent NPR regardless of the type of program they host," and are barred from any political activity.

Maine Public Broadcasting discontinues its on-air auction after four decades

After 40 years, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network is ending its MPBN Great TV Auction, reports the Maine Sunday Telegram. Lou Morin, director of marketing and public relations for MPBN, said the auction usually brought in about $450,000 in gross revenue, but after expenses the net revenue was only about $150,000. The auction usually took place over 10 days in April, pre-empting the network's regular nightly schedule — which became a factor in the decision to end it. "People want their normal programming interrupted as little as possible," Morin said.