Afternoon roundup: Slate snaps up NPR’s Pesca; nonprofits join push to block KMBH sale

• NPR sports reporter Mike Pesca is leaving the network to host a daily current-events podcast for Slate, Business Insider reports. The show will begin this April. Pesca has co-hosted Slate’s sports podcast, “Hang Up And Listen,” since 2009. He tells BI he will have more license to share personal opinions as a podcast host, something he couldn’t do as an NPR reporter. Slate earns upwards of 10 percent of its total advertising revenue from podcasts and expects to grow that share in coming months, according to BI.

Late professor left gifts to NPR, Texas station in will

NPR and KMBH in Harlingen, Texas, have received donations from a devoted listener who passed away in 2009. Wallace Cameron, a former professor of languages at Ohio University, left NPR $600,000 in his will. Cameron retired from Ohio University in 1992 after a 36-year career at the school. He lived in the Rio Grande Valley and was a fan of KMBH and NPR, says Robert Gutierrez, g.m. of KMBH. The station and network learned of the gift earlier this year.

CPB inquiry, deficits: more tribulations for KMBH

A public broadcaster removed unexpectedly from the board of Catholic Church- controlled KMBH public radio and TV in Harlingen, Texas, is heading an effort to create an independent pubradio station in the Rio Grande Valley. Betsy Price of Brownsville and 30 other volunteers call themselves Voices from the Valley. Their goal is to provide more local and NPR programming than KMBH currently carries. The group’s forthcoming announcement of its board members may coincide with more news about KMBH, the region’s only pubcaster: CPB’s inspector general is completing a review of its compliance with grant rules and examining station financial documents related to CPB. The inspectors are likely to find an operation that, like a significant minority of public stations, is in “fragile” fiscal condition.