WNYC reactivates Swing State Radio Network for debate coverage

The “Swing State Radio Network” launched by New York’s WNYC is returning for the upcoming presidential and vice-presidential debates. WNYC public affairs host Brian Lehrer will anchor pre-debate call-in shows that will air in New York as well as on WUSF in Tampa, Fla.; WMFE in Orlando, Fla.; WDET in Detroit; WFAE in Charlotte, N.C.; WOSU in Columbus, Ohio; WCPN in Cleveland; Wisconsin Public Radio; and New Hampshire Public Radio. The coverage will also feature a live chat with a video feed hosted on WNYC’s political site, ItsAFreeCountry.org. WNYC political reporter Anna Sale will participate in the chats. The impromptu Swing State network began with coverage of the party conventions. Continue Reading

WNYC, EarthFix lead pubmedia’s award winners at ONA 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — Public media continues to earn accolades for its online innovations, as multiple outlets racked up trophies at the Online News Association’s awards ceremony Sept. 22. Hosted by PBS NewsHour correspondent Hari Sreenivasan, the gala banquet sought to honor the year’s best work in online journalism across all media outlets. Award categories reflect the size of the operation: small sites, with fewer than 25 full-time employees; medium, more than 25 but fewer than 100; and large, more than 100. With two trophies each, public broadcasting’s big winners were WNYC in New York and EarthFix, the CPB-backed Local Journalism Center focusing on environment issues in the Pacific Northwest. Continue Reading

NPR, WNYC collaborate to make ‘Ask Me Another’ weekly starting in January

NPR is teaming up with New York’s WNYC to make its trivia and quiz show Ask Me Another into a weekly offering, starting in January. The show's 13-episode pilot season has aired on 150 stations since its launch in May. As a new co-producer, WNYC will contribute to shaping the show’s creative direction. Taping of 25 new episodes will start in November at the Bell House in Brooklyn, where the first season was recorded in front of sold-out audiences. Ask Me Another will also travel to five cities yet to be determined for additional tapings. Continue Reading

WNYC premiering podcast-originated ‘Gabfest Radio’ this weekend

WNYC in New York will launch Gabfest Radio, a one-hour program combining edited versions of two popular podcasts led by editors of online magazine Slate, with two weekend broadcasts. The move is a fast turnaround for WNYC, which first announced the program and collaboration with Slate in a Tuesday press release. Slate's Political Gabfest, which began in 2005, is hosted by website editor David Plotz,  chief political correspondent John Dickerson and senior editor and legal correspondent Emily Bazelon. Its Culture Gabfest, which originated in 2008, is hosted by deputy editor Julia Turner,  movie critic Dana Stevens and culture critic at large, Stephen Metcalf. Slate and the Slate Group of online properties are owned by the Washington Post Co. Continue Reading

Radiolab producers don’t believe Lehrer’s contributions to be “compromised”

WNYC, the producer of public radio’s Radiolab, has found “no reason to believe” that frequent contributor Jonah Lehrer's appearances on the show are "compromised." Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker Sunday after Tablet magazine revealed that he had made up quotes attributed to Bob Dylan in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works. Here’s the full statement from WNYC:
Jonah Lehrer has been a regular contributor to Radiolab as an “explainer,” making technical science more accessible and bringing much needed meaning to new scientific research. He has been a lively and compelling voice and has helped make the history of science come alive for listeners. We are deeply saddened by the news this week about such a talented and valued colleague. Continue Reading

Journalism Center on Children and Families – Casey Medals

Pubradio won a pair of medals for reportage on youth and families. WYNC’s Radio Rookies won a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for Coming of Age in 2011, a series of reports covering youth-identity issues such as immigration status, mental-health diagnoses, the foster care system and the process of coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The award was given in the College Park, Md.–based organization’s new youth-media category. “It’s a rare treat to listen to a first-person narrative that moves you; it’s even rarer to find storytellers who are brave enough to confront their own issues and face other people who may not always tell them what they want to hear,” judges said. Among the Rookies and WNYC producers cited for the medal were Beatrice Aquino, Tim Brown-Martinez, Brianna Fugate, Michael Jacobson, Alicia Martinez, Jimmy Musa, Kaari Pitkin, Sanda Htyte, Marianne McCune, Courtney Stein, Veralyn Williams and Mike Jones. Continue Reading

John Hockenberry, left, and Celeste Headlee have co-hosted "The Takeaway" since fall 2009 (Photo: Marco Antonio).

Takeaway shifts to middays in bid for broader carriage

WNYC will move production of The Takeaway to later in the day and trim its length to one hour starting in September in an effort to boost carriage of the off-the-cuff news show that set out to challenge Morning Edition.

The New York station launched The Takeaway with co-producer Public Radio International in 2008 as an alternative to NPR’s morning blockbuster — the newscomer with a more spontaneous approach and increased audience interaction. But after four years, the show airs on the primary broadcast signals of 55 stations, up by just 15 since September 2009. Ten additional stations air it on digital multicast channels.
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NET’s Bates to retire, NPR’s Seabrook departs, Bodarky elected PRNDI prez, and more…

Bates, a producer/director who rose through the ranks to become network chief in 1996, announced his retirement plans June 22, initiating the second leadership transition for the state network’s top job since its founding 58 years ago. Bates arrived at NET in 1975 as a producer/director working on a one-year assignment. He ended up devoting his career to NET, earning a promotion to senior producer and eventually moving into fundraising. He became director of development for Nebraskans for Public Television Inc. in 1985 before being appointed to succeed Jack McBride, NET’s founding general manager, in the mid-1990s. “Rod Bates’ leadership has brought NET to the highest level of service in our history,” said Ron Hull, a semi-retired NET veteran who hired Bates as a TV producer more than three decades ago. Continue Reading

Three trophies put WNYC atop pubmedia’s Murrow winners

WNYC led public media in the 2012 national Edward R. Murrow Awards announced June 12 by the Radio Television Digital News Association.Among 17 pubcasting entities receiving Murrows for excellence in electronic journalism, the New York station won three trophies for two of its nationally distributed shows — Studio 360 andRadio Rookies.Three pubcasting outlets received Murrows in two categories: BBC World News, which won in the division for radio networks; Boston’s WBUR, a winner among large-market radio stations; and WITF in Harrisburg, Pa, scoring a double in the small-market radio division. Alabama Public Radio also stood out among small market radio stations, taking a Murrow for overall excellence.Public stations winning national Murrows in large- and small-market radio divisions excelled during an earlier phase of RTDNA's annual journalism contest -- the regional Murrows awarded in 13 multistate contests this spring.Public media news outlets won national Murrows across four divisions.Radio networks: WNYC’s Studio 360, a coproduction with Public Radio International, for feature reporting and use of sound, and Radio Rookies, writing; BBC World Service, hard news reporting and news documentary; American Public Media’s Marketplace, investigative reporting; and NPR, website.  Large-market radio stations: WBUR, investigative reporting and use of sound; KUT in Austin, Texas, continuing coverage; WCPN in Cleveland, feature reporting; WUSF in Tampa, Fla., news documentary; Mississippi Public Broadcasting, news series; and WFAE in Charlotte, N.C., writing.  Small-market radio stations: WITF in Harrisburg, Pa., news series and sports reporting; Alabama Public Radio, overall excellence; WBOI in Fort Wayne, Ind., feature reporting; KUNC in Greeley, Colo., investigative reporting; WUFT in Gainesville, Fla., hard news reporting; WSLU in Canton, N.Y., news documentary; and KSMU in Springfield, Mo., writing.  Local online news operation: The Lens New Orleans and the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism in New Orleans, investigative reporting; and the Texas Tribune in Austin, website.The national Edward R. Murrow Awards have recognized outstanding electronic journalism since 1971. Continue Reading