“The old-fashioned idea of the airwaves as public property still excites both ends of the political spectrum . . .,” reports The Washington Post’s Marc Fisher from the FCC’s media consolidation hearing in Richmond.

NPR’s Bob Edwards interviewed Pacifica’s Brian DeShazor about the radio network’s efforts to preserve its valuable archive of historic audio tapes. NPR’s page includes an extended version of the DeShazor interview and clips from archive recordings.

The Onion needles NPR’s Corey Flintoff this week–see fifth item, “News in Brief.” (Warning: gratuitous explicit language.)

Pubcasters are again calling on FCC Chairman Michael Powell to require cable to carry both public TV’s analog and digital signals during the DTV transition. The new request follows a similar appeal made in June 2001. Read the letter to Powell (PDF).

CPB honored Ted Stevens, Alaska’s senior senator, with its Ralph Lowell Award, public TV’s highest honor. As chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Stevens has steered millions of dollars in financial aid to pubcasters.

New York’s WAMC will buy an AM station to complement its stronger FM signal in Albany.

College radio stations are fuming that College Music Journal, their sole tie to the record industry, seems to be fiddling with their playlist data to promote its own ventures.

Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen tells Adweek he’s working on a second novel (set in the 19th century) and hates Craig Kilborn.

Fred Rogers died of cancer early today at the age of 74. There’s additional information at the Family Communications website. Current covered his retirement in 2000. And in a Current commentary, media scholar George Gerbner explained how Rogers’ storytelling addresssed childrens’ needs. “In this world of too many manufactured dreams, Fred Rogers is hand-crafting–for us as well as for our children–the dreams that heal,” he wrote.