May 7, 2012

'Sherlock' star wows crowd at NYC event

A long line of enthusiastic fans waited to greet Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch (right) at a special screening Wednesday (May 2) in New York City of the Masterpiece Mystery! show that premiered Sunday (to double the average PBS primetime rating). The crowd got to see a sneak peek of the program and participate in a Q&A with Cumberbatch; Steven Moffat, co-creator; Sue Vertue, producer; and Series Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. Hosting were WNET and PBS.

Also in the audience was Beth Hoppe, PBS programming v.p., who told Current, "It was a really young crowd — like, 17 to 27 . . . And these kids were all tweeting at #SherlockPBS."

At the beginning of the event, she said, "a lot of different PBS content ran, and they were screaming like Beatles fans every time that Benedict Cumberbatch was onscreen."

"The other thing they screamed for," Hoppe said: "Frontline. They screamed — screamed." (Photo: PBS/Stephanie Berger)

So far so good for primary station WUCF in Orlando

PBS is pleased with the progress of WUCF-TV in Orlando, created by University of Central Florida and Brevard Community College as a new primary member station after the announcement in April 2011 that WMFE-TV would be sold. PBS spokesperson Anne Bentley told the Orlando Sentinel that the station "accomplished a tremendous feat" by serving the community "with remarkable speed and agility."

"We did not take over a station. We created one from scratch," University of Central Florida President John Hitt said recently. "We inherited no cameras, no equipment and no crew."

WUCF set a $225,000 goal for its most recent pledge drive and hit $215,000, according to Grant Heston, the UCF associate vice president who oversees the station. The station has a $1 million fundraising goal for the first year, with $750,000 in so far.

Pubradio music org will meet in tandem with PRPD

This year the Association of Music Personnel in Public Radio (AMPPR) will hold its annual conference in conjunction with the Public Radio Program Directors conference in Las Vegas, Sept. 11–14.

“The idea of meeting with PRPD has been floated for several years,” wrote David Duff, AMPPR’s president, in a post on the group’s website. “The two organizations began exploring the possibilities last year, and have agreed to work together to develop a strong and robust music track for this year’s conference.”

AMPPR will survey its members for feedback on which topics should be covered at the conference. Members of AMPPR will not need to become PRPD members to attend.