Afternoon roundup: WCAI expands signal, CCTV hosts meet Muppets

WCAI Cape and Islands NPR, the only public radio station for coastal communities in southern Massachusetts, has boosted its signal from 1,200 to 12,500 watts. WCAI Managing Director Mindy Todd noted in Tuesday's announcement, "Now, more than 200,000 additional listeners — plus millions of fish in Cape Cod Bay, Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean — will have a clear signal and clear access to the region’s only locally-produced and locally-broadcast public radio station.”

Starting Friday, CCTV Children’s Channel in Shanghai, China, is airing a special "Happy New Year" series marking the first time its hosts are interacting with Sesame Street's Muppets. During a segment on Chinese New Year, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Lily chat with their Chinese friends about their special customs. The 10 segments about different New Year traditions will run on the channel through Feb. 6. The filmmakers behind American Promise, who filmed their African-American Brooklyn family over 13 years as their son and his best pal progressed through school, will interact with participants in a live OVEE online screening of the doc from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern time Feb.

Jim Henson’s daughter donates Elmo, Bert, Ernie and other Muppets to Smithsonian

Cheryl Henson, daughter of Jim Henson, donated 21 Muppet puppets and props to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History on Sept. 24, reports USA Today. The latest band of furry Muppets to move to the Smithsonian includes early iterations of longtime Sesame Street fixtures Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Grover, Cookie Monster and Count Von Count. They'll join up with their buddies Kermit the Frog and Oscar the Grouch, who are already members of the Smithsonian's Jim Henson Collection. Miss Piggy is also joining the collection.

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PBS and APT programs win 14 Daytime Emmys

Among 14 Daytime Emmys awarded to public TV programs, APT's Travelscope won in Creative Arts categories for direction and sound mixing.

PBS programs capture three WGAW Awards

The Writers Guild of America, West's prize in the children’s–episodic and specials category went to Christine Ferraro for writing Sesame Street’s “The Good Sport.” Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria won the award in the documentary–current events arena for writing the first episode of the Frontline four-part series “Money, Power and Wall Street.” And in the documentary–other than current events category, Randall MacLowry won the award for writing “The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time” for Nova. Founded in 1933, WGAW is a labor union representing writers of movies, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. The awards were presented Feb. 17 in Los Angeles.

Cocktails to honor Big Bird and friends? That’s the spirit

When public radio managers gathered for November’s Super-Regional Meeting in New Orleans, home to Bourbon Street and the drive-through daiquiri bar, NPR Chair and ideastream COO Kit Jensen mentioned in passing during a panel discussion that her station has its own official cocktail. The “ideaScreamer” is a mix of Grey Goose orange vodka, cranberry juice and a twist of lime, garnished with a lightstick stirrer, according to Peg Neeson, ideastream community relations director. “It’s really quite pretty in a martini glass,” she said. No one at ideastream can recall when the ideaScreamer was created, possibly due to overindulgence in the drink. But bartenders at The Passenger in Washington, D.C., still remember exactly when and how they decided to make a Big Bird, even though the drink was created as a special offering several months ago.