The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH in Boston is permanently waiving license fees for its patented movie-theater captioning system, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its work to improve media for users with disabilities. Larry Goldberg, WGBH’s director of media access and head of NCAM, told Current that most theaters have made a one-time payment of around $2,000 for the license. The center hopes the waiver will encourage more theaters to offer Rear Window Captioning, one of several systems available for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. More than 400 theaters nationwide have installed the technology since it was first available in 1996, WGBH said in a statement. To use Rear Window, viewers look into clear panels in front of their seats that reflect a large LED screen on the theater’s back wall displaying captions in mirror image.
PBS has ended production of Market Warriors, the Monday-night series that was a lynchpin in its strategy to hold on to viewers of Antiques Roadshow, the most-watched regular series in the primetime schedule.
WGBH News’ Jared Bowen received the Commonwealth Award recognizing “exceptional achievement in the arts, humanities and sciences.”
Bowen is an Emmy-winning reporter with WGBH-TV’s Greater Boston with Emily Rooney; host of the weekly TV show Open Studio with Jared Bowen; and a regular contributor to Morning Edition and WGBH’s Boston Public Radio. “Jared’s coverage takes him from breaking news to politics to arts and culture. In his cornerstone arts reporting, Jared covers the latest in the Boston area’s theater, art, music, dance and film scenes,” the Massachusetts Cultural Council stated in its awards announcement. “I'm beyond astonished and grateful to receive the Commonwealth Award,” Bowen said. “The fact of the matter is I simply love my work.
This item has been updated and reposted with additional information. PBS is ending production of Market Warriors, the much-anticipated series that premiered in July 2012 as a partner program to longtime ratings hit Antiques Roadshow, according to a March 14 WGBH internal memo to employees. Marsha Bemko, executive producer of both programs, today told Current the decision was PBS’s and declined further comment. The demise of the series triggered several layoffs. The memo said that Field Producer Rebecca Donahue and Editors Peter Hyzak and Sean Sandefur left WGBH the week of March 4, while Senior Producer John Kalish, Associate Producer Joey Toppan, Production Assistant Rebecca Taylor and Assistant Editor Jim Fetela departed on Friday.
Former radio host Christopher Lydon will return to the Boston airwaves as a weekly contributor to Boston Public Radio, a daily local news/talk show on WGBH-FM. Lydon will appear on the show Thursdays to discuss current events with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, who debuted as hosts Monday. The duo formerly hosted a show on commercial talk station WTKK in Boston, which switched format last month. WGBH also announced that Emily Rooney, host of Greater Boston on WGBH’s TV channel, will be Friday’s featured guest. Rooney previously served as a Boston Public Radio co-host.
The third-season finale of Downton Abbey drew 8.2 million viewers for its Feb. 17 PBS broadcast, the network and WGBH announced Feb. 19. The numbers come from Nielsen and gave the episode a 5.2 household rating. The episode came in with 50 percent more viewers than the season two finale in 2012 and also drew 300,000 more fans than this year's season premiere.
As the executive producer who acquired and managed co-productions of British dramas for Masterpiece and its predecessor titles for more than 26 years, Eaton has brought high-profile miniseries such as Prime Suspect, Bleak House and recent hits Sherlock and Downton Abbey to PBS.
When the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts announced a settlement with Boston’s WGBH over its handling of $60 million in federal grant funds, it was the second time in two years that a major producing station had come under scrutiny by auditors for its handling of grant monies for public TV productions.
This item has been updated and reposted with additional information. WGBH has agreed to pay more than $300,000 in a civil settlement with the U.S Attorney's Office to resolve allegations that it improperly tracked and accounted for federal grant money, The Associated Press is reporting. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz told AP that from 2005–08 the Boston pubcaster maintained an inadequate accounting system for tracking grant expenditures. The settlement, announced Thursday, is for damages incurred by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. WGBH spokesperson Jeanne Hopkins told Current that the settlement involves a payment equal to the error rate of half a percent to one percent of the total value of the grants, which was $60 million.