FCC rejects petition to alter DTV modulation standard

The argument over the digital TV standard will continue, though the FCC tried to put it away Feb. 4 [2000], unanimously denying Sinclair Broadcast Group’s petition to permit the use of a different transmitter modulation scheme. Public TV has taken no official position on the issue — engineering managers in the system are divided on the issue. Though informal Sinclair tests found that first-generation DTV receivers have trouble getting pictures with indoor antennas, the FCC said in its letter to the Baltimore-based station chain, “we believe that Sinclair has done no more than to demonstrate a shortcoming of early DTV receiver implementation, rather than a basic flaw in the ATSC standard . .

‘Hasty mistake’ at WFDD prompts talk of ideals

For the faculty of Wake Forest University, the hush order given to reporters at the university’s WFDD-FM last September came too close for comfort.”I’ve never seen anything rile the faculty on this campus like this did, and I’ve been here 11 years,” says law professor Ronald Wright. “A lot of faculty members identified with those reporters. We’re both in the business of telling the truth.” “What has occurred on our campus violated certain ‘givens’ about what a university should be: a place where freedom of thought and expression thrive,” said this month’s report by an ad hoc committee appointed by the faculty senate. The defense of free speech on the campus in Winston-Salem, N.C., has whipped up antagonisms, uprooted most of WFDD’s news staff, and required lots of long, tense meetings, but the issues may be nearing resolution.

Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing, 1993

The Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications (TCAF) delivered its recommendations to Congress on Oct. 1, 1983, after extensive research, including an Advertising Demonstration Program at a number of public TV stations. Documents below:
Letter of transmittal
Membership of TCAF
Executive Summary

Chairman’s letter of transmittal

To the Congress of the United States:

In accordance with Congress’ direction in the Public Broadcasting Amendments Act of 1981, Public Law Number 97-35, the Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public Telecommunications hereby submits its Final Report. This report describes the Advertising Demonstration Program in which selected public television stations experimented with the carriage of limited advertising. The report includes findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Congress concerning the financing of public broadcasting.

Uneasy dilemma for public TV: stick with DTV standard?

Which would be worse? Raising ungrounded fears about DTV technology that spook the public and delay the transition for years? Or ignoring those worries and finding out later that the system is a dog? Public TV’s engineers are divided on question of reopening the three-year-old U.S. standard for DTV transmission, a course of action championed by Sinclair Broadcast Group and now festering on the body technological. “I’m conflicted — it’s a thing that an engineer doesn’t like to be,” admits Bruce Jacobs, chief technology officer at KTCA in Twin Cities.

For the first time, a producer leads PBS

PBS’s new president is Pat Mitchell, departing head of CNN Productions and
Time Inc. Television, whose appointment was ratified by the PBS Board Feb. 4. She is the first producer to take PBS’s top job, and is as comfortable in
front of cameras as behind them, having performed in numerous on-air roles. Her major projects for CNN included the Peabody-winning Cold War,
a 24-part documentary series that she executive produced with Jeremy Isaacs,
and Millenium: A Thousand Years of History, also supervised with Isaacs. A search committee reached an “enthusiastically unanimous” decision to recommend
Mitchell as the best candidate for the post last week, said Wayne Godwin,
committee co-chair and president of WCET in Cincinnati.

Pubradio serves up UFOs down by the Rio Grande

A weekly half-hour program about space aliens — probably the only one in public radio (but who knows?) — has just been renewed for 26 weeks. Starting last Halloween, SETLAB Radio (the acronym means “Study of Extra-Terrestrial Life and Answers from Beyond”) has aired Sunday afternoons in south Texas — on KMBH in Harlingen and its repeater, KHID in McAllen. Host Russell Dowden says he’s gotten dozens of reports from Rio Grande Valley listeners that they, too, have seen unidentified flying objects. Then, several weeks ago, someone anonymously sent in a “very weird and very real-looking” image of a bulb-headed alien supposedly photographed aboard a U.S. Navy vessel. “It looks a little different from the normal Gray alien type, and has funny, textured skin.

By-laws of Public Broadcasting Service, 2000

This is the PBS Board’s governing document as amended Feb. 6, 2000. For comparison, see also
the original PBS bylaws of 1969, and the most recent version, amended November 2011. Article I
The Corporation shall be known as the PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICE (PBS). Article II
2.1 Registered Office.

Wake Forest University faculty committee report on WFDD conflict, 2000

Five months after the conflict developed between Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and its public radio station, WFDD, the faculty’s Senate Ad Hoc Committee on WFDD released this report Feb. 2, 2000. See also coverage in Current and case study on the conflict in the Public Radio News Directors Guide. Events Triggering This Inquiry
Proposed Guidelines on Confidentiality Policy
The Public Trust and Internal Management at WFDD
The Committee’s Process
Memo from university Vice President Sandra Boyette to university Counsel Leon Corbett
Separate statement by member Michael Curtis

Report to the University Senate on the WFDD Matter
In October 1999, the President of the University Senate appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on WFDD. She asked the committee to inquire into events at public radio station WFDD during September 1999 and to report to the University Senate with proposals for avoiding such events in the future.