FCC refuses to de-reserve WQED’s second station, 1996

Before the Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of Deletion of Noncommercial Reservation of Channel *16, 482-488 MHz, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Adopted: July 24, 1996
Released: August 1, 1996By the Commission: Commissioner Ness issuing a statement; Commissioner Chong concurring and issuing a statement in which Commissioner Quello joins. 1. The Commission has before it for consideration a “Petition to Delete Noncommercial Reservation” filed on June 24, 1996 by WQED Pittsburgh (WQED or the Company), licensee of noncommercial educational television stations WQED(TV), Channel *13 and WQEX(TV), Channel *16, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. WQED requests that its Channel *16 allotment be dereserved in order to permit commercial broadcasting on Channel 16 in Pittsburgh, and that it be permitted to assign WQEX(TV) to a commercial licensee and use the net proceeds to further WQED(TV)’s noncommercial broadcast operation. WQED’s petition is filed pursuant to the Department of Justice and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1996, Pub.

Tragic legend returns to public TV, retold this time as an opera

A local tale from Fayette, Maine, that came to public TV seven years ago in an American Experience documentary will return next year as an opera on Great Performances. The musical retelling will be taped later this week during the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s new opera, Emmeline, at the Santa Fe Opera. [The premiere received more than its share of rave reviews, using words like “sensational” and “a triumph.” Great Performances’ version aired April 2, 1997 on many stations.]

“I’m very happy that it’s coming full circle,” says Picker. “It shows that public television is so important, because it’s capable of generating art.”

The best of jobs: to have and serve the public’s trust

Bill Moyers’ keynote at the PBS Annual Meeting, June 23, 1996, grabbed many of the pubcasters where they live, and invited others to come home. Producer Stephen Ives, a second-generation professional in public TV, said later that Moyers’ Sunday-morning talk reminded him “why I was so proud of what my father did for a living.” I must tell you that being here feels very good. Two years ago you invited me to be with you in Florida to celebrate my 60th birthday but I wound up having heart surgery instead and couldn’t come to blow out the candles. But it was a moment I’ll never forget when all of you sang “Happy Birthday” to me over an open telephone line.

Nothing’s easy in the Bronx, where botanists are tough

Fordham University’s WFUV has withstood for the third time a neighbor’s challenge to its plan to complete a 480-foot transmitting tower on its Bronx campus. The state Supreme Court in Manhattan upheld June 12 [1996] previous rulings of New York City’s Buildings Department and its Board of Standards and Appeals, which accepted the tower as a valid accessory use of the university. But many obstacles remain. The neighboring New York Botanical Garden, which opposes the tower as a blight on its horizon, expects to appeal the court ruling and points out that the city zoning regulators still want Fordham to move the half-built tower 25 feet to make it legal, and that the Federal Aviation Administration has yet to approve the tower. Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam dissed the garden’s esthetic argument.