PRI stations to experiment with locally customized news

The competition for midday timeslots on public radio stations is heating up, as Public Radio International and producers of its news programs unveiled plans to experiment with new approaches for combining national and local content to give stations more control over what their local listeners hear during the middle of each weekday. Continue Reading

NEA announces 2013 media arts grants; OVEE and AIR projects among recipients

The National Endowment of the Arts announced $4.68 million in funding to 76 media-arts projects April 23, including new grantees such as the Online Video Engagement Experience (OVEE) developed with CPB funding, a new initiative from the Association of Independents in Radio called Spectrum America and Sonic Trace, a multimedia production at KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., that was created through AIR’s recently concluded Localore project. For a second year, the NEA will continue to support projects that use digital technologies to go beyond traditional broadcasting platforms. In its announcement, the endowment highlighted a $100,000 grant to OVEE, a digital platform that allows web users to interact while watching PBS and local station content. The Independent Television Service developed the technology with support from CPB. AIR also received $100,000 for Spectrum America, a project that will pair media artists with public stations as they experiment with “new approaches to storytelling.”

Sonic Trace, a co-production at KCRW initiated through AIR’s 2012–2013 Localore initiative, received a direct NEA grant of $75,000 to continue exploring the experience of Latino immigrants. NEA also backed digital media projects at NPR, providing $100,000 for music programming and multimedia content. Continue Reading

Bowers

The name needs revamping, but podcasts are here to stay

If you’re a public radio station without a plan for how to take advantage of the remarkably flexible and creative platform of podcasting — a platform that leverages your existing skills better than anything else in new media — you need to think again. Continue Reading

WNYC shares previously unreleased recordings of Martin Luther King Jr. interviews

New York’s WNYC has released for the first time recordings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. interviewed on several occasions in the 1960s by Eleanor Fischer, a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reporter who later worked for NPR. The interviews capture King discussing a wide range of subjects, including his childhood, his adoption of nonviolent resistance tactics, and the Montgomery bus boycott. The recordings were among tapes given to WNYC’s archive in 2008 after Fischer passed away. “We are a rich archive in content but not a huge staff of people and we have received many collections,” wrote Archive Director Andy Lanset in an email to Current. Continue Reading

KTSU volunteer stole personal info from hundreds of donors, investigators say

This item has been updated and reposted with additional information. A former volunteer at Houston's jazz format NPR affiliate KTSU has been jailed for allegedly stealing credit card information from listener pledge sheets and using the information to buy electronics and gift cards, which he would then sell for cash. Michael Whitfield, whom the Houston Chronicle reports has a history of financial crimes, was charged Jan. 9 with the fraudulent use and possession of identifying information for more than 50 people, a third-degree felony. Investigators say there are more than 20 confirmed cases but there could be as many as 300 potential victims.

Texas Southern University, which owns KTSU, released a statement Jan. Continue Reading

WBGO chief engineer David Tallacksen, left, and news director Doug Doyle kept the jazz station broadcasting during Superstorm Sandy from a makeshift studio in Tallacksen's apartment. (Photo: Andrew Meyer)

Pubcasters battered by Superstorm Sandy

When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the most populated region of the United States Oct. 29, claiming at least 90 lives and wreaking havoc on everything in its path, public broadcasting stations along the Eastern Seaboard couldn’t escape the storm’s wrath. Continue Reading