WKGC dropping NPR affiliation, picking up BBC, APM shows

WKGC in Panama City, Fla., will replace NPR's newsmagazines with BBC news programs distributed by American Public Media. The station, which is also dropping its NPR membership, cited duplication of NPR programs in the market as the reason for the schedule change, which takes effect Oct. 1, reports the local News Herald. During morning and afternoon drive times, BBC World News and NewsHour will air on the WKGC instead of NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. WKGC is licensed to Gulf Coast State Community College and shares its service area with WFSU in Tallahassee, operated by Florida State University. Continue Reading

With the BBC drama Call the Midwife, PBS will test its strategy to build more audience flow on Sundays.(Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz)

PBS taps BBC’s Midwife to boost Sunday viewership

PBS’s yearlong effort to build more audience flow in its primetime schedule moves into new territory with the Sept. 30 U.S. broadcast premiere of Call the Midwife, a limited-run BBC drama that will attempt to draw in Masterpiece fans and keep them watching an hour longer on Sunday nights. Continue Reading

APM displaces PRI as BBC World Service distributor

American Public Media will begin distributing the BBC World Service to U.S. pubradio stations July 1 [2012], ending the British network’s 26-year distribution relationship with Public Radio International. A five-year BBC-PRI contract is expiring, but the two networks will still collaborate on their co-productions such as The World and The Takeaway. Portions of the World Service air on 521 stations in the U.S.

“BBC World Service radio has been enjoying record audiences in the U.S., and we are delighted to be working with American Public Media to ensure that more U.S. listeners have access to the BBC’s impartial international journalism and programming across public radio,” said Richard Porter, controller, English, for the BBC, in a statement to Current. APM declined comment.   Continue Reading

Al Rose

Al Rose, 70

Albert E. Rose, former program director of New Jersey Network and later the program distributor who brought nightly British news programs to U.S. public TV, died of lung cancer June 16, 2010, at a hospice in Newtown, Pa. Continue Reading

KCET to rep BBC newscast, WLIW creating competitor

The BBC has signed a new distributor for the nightly half-hour BBC World News newscast for public TV stations — KCET in Los Angeles. New York’s WLIW, which has syndicated the show for nearly 10 years, will produce a new evening newscast for pubTV. Your World Tonight (working title) will debut in October when the BBC contract ends. Marc Rosenwasser, a former CBS Evening News senior producer, will produce the new show. The British pubcaster — which increasingly uses its own platforms, notably its BBC America cable channel, to distribute its productions beyond the sceptered isle — acknowledges it doesn’t want the pubTV newscast knocking heads with its new 60-minute cable newscast. Continue Reading

Return of the Pythons: their PBS premiere

Bring out your dead, practice your silly walks, and steel yourselves for something completely different, yet strangely familiar. PBS is launching a video onslaught of Monty Python humor—the classics as well as the humorists’ annotated favorites and an acclaimed sequel of sorts. PBS has scheduled Monty Python’s Personal Best, a pastiche of new material and clips from the TV series and movies, for Feb. 22, March 1 and 8. Separately, PBS will release all the naughty bits — the 45 original 30-minute episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus — this spring. Continue Reading