Jun 11, 2012

Wildfire takes Colorado radio station off air

The main transmitter of KUNC-FM in Greeley, Colo., is off the air due to the High Park Fire, a wildfire covering almost 37,000 acres. “KUNC’s main transmitter is located on Buckhorn Mountain which is directly in the fire zone of the High Park Fire,” says a post on KUNC’s website. “There is no power at the site and as a result, KUNC is not on the air on 91.5fm.” KUNC is covering the wildfire on its website, however.

UPDATE: KUNC President Neil Best emailed Current: "With the main signal down we have lost service to a translator in Boulder, the KENC station in Estes Park, and a translator on the eastern plains in Morgan County.  All of our other signals are satellite fed or take their signal from one of those sites.  Of course we are also on-line and our website is very active with information about this fire."

Kerger among winners of annual Brand Builder Awards

PBS President Paula Kerger is one of four honorees for the 10th annual Brand Builder Awards, sponsored by Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and Promax/BDA, the international membership organization for major media marketing professionals. Other winners this year are FX Networks President John Landgraf, Sony Pictures Television President of U.S. Distribution John Weiser, and Walmart. All will be honored this week during the Promax/BDA conference in Los Angeles.

"WGBH Music" kicks off on YouTube

WGBH in Boston has launched a YouTube music channel. WGBH Music will offer radio listeners a look at short videos featuring classical, jazz, celtic, singer/songwriters and more.

Pubradio needs new ideas and courage to try them, MPR's Collins says

Can public radio still take risks?

That's the headline of a thought-provoking post on Minnesota Public Radio's News Cut blog by writer Bob Collins, an MPR journalist, in the wake of the Car Talk hosts' retirement announcement.

"This has been an interesting time in public radio of late," Collins writes, "and the next few years are going to test whether it's capable of taking a risk enough to give an outlet to new ways of doing things. Car Talk is gone, [Prairie Home Companion's Garrison] Keillor is retiring, [MPR newsman Gary] Eichten has retired, and an increasing number of people who basically built public radio are turning things over to the next generation, which has not been well schooled in the art of betting it all on an idea."

"You can do a lot of creative things when nobody listens to your radio station because there's little downside to taking risk," Collins writes. "But not anymore. Public radio has never been more popular and taking a risk has never been more dangerous. The early A Prairie Home Companion would have a most difficult time getting on the air — anywhere — today. Essentially, public radio is where commercial radio was 30 years ago, just before it went on its suicidal path toward irrelevance by playing it safe in order not to alienate an existing audience."