Two Los Angeles–area public TV stations won Golden Mikes. KCET won three awards in Division A (for stations with 50 or more full-time news staff members): topping the category of news/public affairs program and investigative reporting with SoCal Connected. It also won for entertainment reporting. PBS Southern Cal (KOCE-TV) won for best documentary in Division B (comprised of TV stations with 49 or fewer full-time news staff) for Be Brave: Samantha’s Story and for best news public affairs program. In the radio contest, KPCC/Southern California Public Radio won 10 Golden Mikes in Division A (stations with six or more full-time news staff members): individual writing, sports reporting, live coverage of a news story, news public affairs program, news reporting, serious feature reporting, light feature reporting, news special, entertainment reporting and use of sound.
Public media outlets were cited for six 2013 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards, announced today by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. NPR received three awards, with one given to reporters Deborah Amos and Kelly McEvers for their coverage of Syria. “NPR’s series of daily news reports about the conflict in Syria was wide ranging, balanced and in depth,” the announcement said. “Veteran foreign correspondent Deb Amos provided critical context and explanation in her reporting that helped listeners understand the complex sectarian and regional factors at play. Her reporting from inside Syria at the scene of a massacre and the capitol Damascus documented spikes in violence.”
“Correspondent Kelly McEvers brought a focus on individual stories that made the conflict real in human terms,” the citation said.
KCET, the Los Angeles public TV station that split from PBS nearly two years ago, is merging with Link TV, the noncommercial national satellite broadcaster that specializes in international news and documentary programming. The boards of KCET and San Francisco-based Link TV approved the Jan. 1, 2013, merger on Tuesday morning. No money was involved in the deal. The new nonprofit, KCETLink, will have one board and management team but continue to distribute programming under each established brand.
Halfway through its three-year transition from one of PBS’ leading outlets to an independent public TV station in the world capital of film and television production, the new KCET is still very much a work in progress.
On Sunday, June 10, L.A. Theatre Works debuts a radio docudrama about the federal court case that overturned the referendum that banned same-sex marriage in California. Director Rob Reiner assembled an all-star cast to perform 8, which was written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. Brad Pitt plays Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for Northern California; Martin Sheen and George Clooney portray the lawyers who joined forces to argue for gay rights — Ted Olson and David Boies, respectively. Olson and Boies had been combatants in arguing Bush v. Gore before the U.S. Supreme Court, so their alliance in the Perry case added a twist to the case and the dramatization. Kevin Bacon plays the lead attorney for Prop 8’s proponents.
NPR tapped CNN veteran Edith Chapin to run its foreign desk
News chief Margaret Low Smith announced Chapin’s appointment last week along with another change on its foreign desk: Didi Schanche, a former Associated Press correspondent and editor who joined NPR in 2001, is to become deputy senior foreign editor. When Chapin officially signs on May 14, she will oversee NPR foreign correspondents based in 17 bureaus worldwide as well as a team of editors and reporters in Washington, D.C. She succeeds longtime foreign desk editor Loren Jenkins, who departed last November. Chapin has spent her entire career at CNN, beginning in 1987. Based in London in the early 1990s, she covered events in Bosnia, Rwanda, Zaire and Ireland. For seven years she directed editorial coverage from CNN’s New York bureau, including its reporting on 9/11 and its aftermath.
Bellantoni to oversee all <em>NewsHour</em> political coverage
PBS NewsHour has a new political editor as of Jan. 2. Christina Bellantoni of CQ Roll Call oversees the newsroom’s political coverage on-air and online, including political analysis, elections and personalities. Her predecessor, David Chalain, departed in November to lead the Washington bureau of Yahoo News. Bellantoni has spent more than a decade covering national political and business news in Washington, D.C., and California.
When KCET announced in October 2010 that it would quit PBS after four decades as its primary Los Angeles affiliate, the task facing PBS was enormous: Find a local outlet to step into the breach, establish new branding, arrange for cable carriage, find homes for orphaned shows, and, most importantly, change long-term tuning habits so 16 million-plus potential viewers could find their favorite programs. All in less than three months. The outlet that stepped up was Orange County’s KOCE, a second-string station still recovering from a costly, drawn-out legal battle with religious programmer Daystar Television Network several years earlier. KOCE became PBS SoCal and, with extensive effort and CPB aid, the PBS program schedule began broadcasts on a new channel Jan. 1. But nearly a year into the new reality, it’s clear that the changeover has not been without complications.