Ken Rudin offers public radio a new weekly dose of “Political Junkie”

The demise of NPR’s Talk of the Nation ended Ken Rudin’s regular appearances on many public radio stations, but the “Political Junkie” is aiming to reengage his devoted audience with a weekly radio segment that launched yesterday. The 8-minute Political Junkie segments, distributed by Public Radio Exchange, reprise many of the features Rudin wove into his TOTN appearances. The first installment features Rudin and NPR Senior Political Editor Ron Elving discussing the aftermath of the government shutdown. Rudin also plans to offer Political Junkie in extended form as a podcast. Since TOTN wound down in June and Rudin departed from NPR, thousands of listeners emailed the commentator to ask for his return to the Web and to radio.

PRX teams with Center for Investigative Reporting on Reveal series

Public Radio Exchange is adding a new weekly show to its development slate —  Reveal, a joint production with the Center for Investigative Reporting. The hourlong series will be hosted by Al Letson of State of the Re:Union and feature investigative stories generated by CIR. The partners plan to develop relationships with other investigative organizations and news stations to bring in additional reporting. Reveal is scheduled to hit the air next year, so PRX and CIR are producing a pilot to be distributed to stations next week. Details about the reporting to be presented in the first show are under wraps, but CIR and PRX officials described it as an original national investigative piece dealing with veterans’ issues.

Battle of Picacho Pass

Pubcasters capture 21 national Edward R. Murrow Awards

WLRN in Miami won large-market radio Murrows for feature reporting and use of sound. Chicago’s WBEZ also won for news documentary and hard-news reporting. The award for investigative reporting went to KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting, both based in San Francisco, for “Broken Shield: Exposing Abuses at California Developmental Centers.”

Pubradio contenders dominate radio division of Sigma Delta Chi Awards

Public radio reporters took all nine awards for radio reporting in this year's Sigma Delta Chi Awards, which recognize outstanding reporting on radio, TV and the Web by national and local news organizations. NPR’s Ina Jaffe, Quinn O’Toole and Steven Drummond won for breaking news reporting (network syndication) for “Los Angeles VA Has Made Millions on Rental Deals.” For investigative reporting, John Ryan and Jim Gates of KUOW in Seattle were cited among stations in markets 1–100 for “Shell's Arctic Oil-Spill Gear ‘Crushed Like a Beer Can,’” while Sandy Hausman of WVTF and Radio IQ in Roanoke, Va., won in the 101+ market category for “Naming the Fralin,” about naming the University of Virginia Art Museum. In the feature categories, Linda Lutton, Cate Cahan and Sally Eisele of Chicago’s WBEZ won for “The weight of the city's violence, on one school principal,” and Lance Orozco of KCLU in Thousand Oaks, Calif., for “My Cancer.”

NPR's State of the Re:Union, co-distributed by Public Radio Exchange, won the syndicated documentary award for “As Black as We Wish to Be,” which explored an Appalachian foothills town in Ohio where residents who look white identify as African-American; it was reported and produced by Lu Olkowski, Laura Spero, Taki Telonidis and Al Letson. Alabama Public Radio’s “Winds of Change,” coverage by Pat Duggins, Ryan Vasquez, Maggie Martin and Stan Ingold of a Tuscaloosa tornado, won for smaller-market documentary. The public service in radio journalism winners were “If it's legal: Five ways legal pot could affect your life,” by the staff of Seattle’s KPLU (markets 1–100); Charles Lane and Naomi Starobin of WSHU in Fairfield, Conn., for “State struggled at fire prevention ahead of Manorville blaze.”

In the television categories, San Francisco’s KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting won for large-market (1–50) documentary for “Heat and Harvest,” a report on the effect of climate change on California agriculture by Mark Schapiro, Serene Fang, Gabriela Quiros and Craig Miller.