With CPB support, public radio Triple A stations team up to showcase music videos

PHILADELPHIA — A new website and mobile app backed by CPB will showcase videos of new and emerging bands, produced by five partnering public radio stations that specialize in contemporary music. The $750,000 CPB grant was announced Thursday at the opening day of the Non-Commvention, an annual conference for Triple A station programmers hosted by Philadelphia’s WXPN. The station is one of the partners in the project, which has the working title “Music X.” The other stations are KTBG in Kansas City, Mo.; KUTX in Austin, Texas; WFUV in New York; and KCRW in Los Angeles. A national umbrella site will showcase the best videos, and stations will also curate channels with their own brands for local audiences. A click-and-drag interface will enable curation for local apps and sites.

Kenneth Tomlinson, CPB chair at center of scandal, dies at 69

Tomlinson, a former Reader’s Digest editor and CPB Board chair who mounted a behind-the-scenes campaign to balance what he saw as a liberal bias in PBS programming, died May 1 in Winchester, Va., after a long hospitalization.

CPB ombud criticizes KUNM’s handling of plagiarism charges

The handling of plagiarism charges at New Mexico’s KUNM-FM drew criticism from CPB Ombudsman Joel Kaplan, who weighed in on the issue in an April 24 report. The charges were first made public by former KUNM reporter Tristan Ahtone, who left the Albuquerque station in March over what he cited as the station’s failure to respond to a fellow reporter’s plagiarism, as recounted in an April 15 story in the Santa Fe Reporter. In an email to his superiors at KUNM that a Santa Fe journalist later forwarded to Kaplan, Ahtone accused KUNM leadership of hiding three instances of suspected plagiarism from listeners. One of the stories was published through the Fronteras reporting desk, which covers the Southwest. Ahtone refused to participate in ethics training courses the station mandated for all staff, writing that the training “serves merely as the Potemkin Village to bolster this station’s attempt at credibility.”

CPB’s Kaplan also found the station’s response lacking.

CPB urges FCC to preserve public TV coverage in spectrum auction

WASHINGTON, D.C. — CPB’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution Thursday urging the FCC to avoid allowing “white areas” that would lack public television coverage after the upcoming spectrum auction and channel repacking. The resolution followed a meeting Tuesday in which network broadcasters and CPB management met with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to discuss the auction, set for mid-2015. It will clear bandwidth to be used by the burgeoning number of wireless devices. Television broadcasters face three choices: sell spectrum and get out of broadcasting, sell a portion of spectrum and share a channel with another broadcaster, or opt out of the auction. Vinnie Curren, CPB c.o.o., told the CPB Board Thursday that it has identified “half a dozen major communities” where auctions could occur and where the pubTV station “is operated by an institution whose primary mission was not public broadcasting,” such as a university or government agency.