For more than a decade, pubcasters have debated whether local stations can harness the power of the Internet. There has been no shortage of naysayers in this ongoing exchange, and, for a time, that side of the discussion seemed to be winning, for good reason.
NPR stations won 82 large-market regional Murrow Awards, while small-market pubcasters captured 91. Among all stations, WLRN in Miami topped public radio’s regional winners by taking 11 awards in 13 Murrow categories: overall excellence, breaking news, continuing coverage, feature reporting, investigative reporting, news documentary, new series, hard-news reporting, use of sound, writing and website. “We feel thrilled and humbled by the honor,” said Dan Grech, news director. “I couldn’t be prouder of the team.”
Four additional large-market pubcasters each won six Murrows: KQED in San Francisco, WBEZ in Chicago, KUT in Austin and WBUR in Boston. And four large-market stations each won four Murrows: KUOW in Seattle; St.
Edgar B. Herwick III, a features reporter for WGBH, was enjoying his field assignment on that cool, sunny Monday, interviewing runners as they triumphantly crossed the finish line of the April 15 Boston Marathon.
This item has been updated and reposted with additional information. After more than two decades on the air, NPR’s Talk of the Nation will come to an end in June to make way for the newsmag Here & Now, which will be revamped under a new partnership between NPR and Boston’s WBUR-FM. Talk of the Nation will air its last episode June 28, ending a 21-year-long run. The call-in talk show has helped launch big names in public media, including original host John Hockenberry, This American Life’s Ira Glass and PBS NewsHour’s Ray Suarez. NPR Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson said the network decided to end Talk of the Nation because a newsmagazine might pull a bigger audience in midday.
Boston NPR news station 90.9 WBUR-FM is wading into the Cape Cod resort market and going toe-to-toe with WGBH’s network of stations with its planned purchase of 92.7 WMVY-FM on Martha’s Vineyard. WBUR is buying the Tisbury, Mass.-based station for an undisclosed amount from Housatonic, Mass.-based Aritaur Communications Inc. The sale is expected to close in early 2013 pending FCC approval. Now broadcasting an adult alternative format, WMVY, known as mvyradio, will switch to WBUR’s news format, reaching up to 60,000 listeners with a 3,000-watt signal. The market includes Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and coastal towns including New Bedford, Fall River, Falmouth and Westport. “We believe that the islands, Cape Cod and SouthCoast are important parts of the community we cover and serve," said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz, in a statement.
A reporter for the NPR station based in Greeley, Colo., Hood earned the award for Investigating Colorado’s Online K–12 Schools, a three-part report about for-profit education. The report found that the state’s largest full-time online school was operating under questionable state oversight and delivering poor academic results. It aired in fall 2011. “Her reports demonstrated the likely abuse of millions of dollars in public funds for an online education that was producing decidedly inferior results while at the same time enriching the for-profit management company,” said Schorr Prize judge Philip Balboni, c.e.o. of Global Post. Hood has also contributed to NPR’s Morning Edition, the National Radio Project’s Making Contact and Voice of America.
Underwriters of public radio programs increasingly want to link their names more closely to particular stories and reporting projects, according to station executives, a trend that is requiring journalists to be more vigilant in fighting perceptions of potential conflicts of interest.