Noncommercial radio broadcasters can apply to the FCC to reserve certain vacant FM allotments. The deadline is Nov. 21. (PDF.)

As the number of TV channels grows, the number that the average household watches grows much more slowly, illustrating the squeeze on audience size. It’s now 15 out of 102. In terms of percentage, that’s a new low of 15 percent, reports MediaPost. (Thanks to Benton Foundation for the link.)

KCET, Los Angeles, has backed out of a joint bid for the license of KOCE in Orange County, the Los Angeles Times reported. The public TV station’s licensee, Coast Community College District, is expected to choose a buyer Oct. 15. This leaves KOCE’s nonprofit fundraising arm competing against higher bids from three religious broadcasters.

“It wasn’t until I was 28 that I could write confidently,” says Ira Glass in ReadyMade. “I had been living with a woman for seven years who thought I was a moron. The day after she moved out, I wrote my first good story.”

Kentucky’s Georgetown College is going to sell WRVG, its public radio station. Since this article was published, Current has learned that a group of station members has expressed interest in buying the station.

A retired physics professor and former Republican state legislator wants license holders to clamp down on a lefty bias that he discerns in programs broadcast by Montana PBS, according to AP.

The Blues, a seven-film PBS series debuting Sept. 28, is “overreaching and uneven,” writes New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell. He faults the series for ignoring the racial shift of the music’s fans. “[T]hat Chuck D finally appears on public television at a time when Public Enemy is as safe an oldies act as B. B. King may offer a hint as to what’s in store.”

Some record labels and music publishers complain that PBS is underpaying the artists featured in its upcoming series The Blues, according to the New York Times.

Information about the upcoming Pacifica elections is online.

WABE-FM in Atlanta is standing by the classical music format, even as other public radio stations trade it in for more news, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The article sparked exchanges among news and classical fans in the AJC’s letters pages (Sept. 14, Sept. 21). Also weighing in: a communications professor suggests Atlanta’s public stations cooperate to provide diverse formats.

“The paradox is that the thing that burns me out is the thing that keeps me going,” says NPR’s Terry Gross in the Sacramento Bee.

A Baltimore Sun op-ed makes the case for eliminating taxpayer support for PBS.

NPR ought to correct its imbalanced coverage of the Democratic presidential candidates, argues Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin in his latest column.

Network says PBS brand helps stations ‘be more’

Inconsistent branding strategies make it increasingly difficult for viewers to see the connections between PBS, the programs it distributes and the local stations that air them. PBS convenes a meeting with station communications execs at Braddock Place this week to discuss how to rectify the problem, a remnant of age-old tensions over what public TV should call itself. The pow-wow follows up on a study by the branding strategy and design firm Interbrand, which concluded that the profusion of public TV brands undermines the PBS brand’s ability to raise money from viewers and sponsors. Interbrand noted that cable competitors and successful nonprofits focus on national brands. The consultants estimated that the PBS brand is worth $5.4 billion, based on their assessment of its ability to secure loyal donors and influence funding decisions in the nonprofit sector.

Radio that’s representative: Listeners control vote for Pacifica boards

Pacifica Radio is emerging from bitter years of factional struggle with new bylaws that may make it the world’s most democratic media organization. The bylaws, which escaped legal challenge and won approval by a California judge Sept. 15, entrust listeners, volunteers and staff members to elect boards at Pacifica’s five stations. Those boards will oversee station matters such as spending, programming and hiring top managers, as well as appointing a national board of directors to run the network. About 90,000 of Pacifica’s listeners and 700 of its volunteers and staffers are eligible to vote in the first election under the bylaws, estimates Carol Spooner, secretary of the network’s interim national board.

USA Today says Naked in Baghdad, the new book by NPR’s Anne Garrels, is an “engaging and instructive diary.” (Via Romenesko.)

A Maryland PTV v.p. arranged for her boyfriend to win a $54,000 piece of a CPB website grant, the Baltimore Sun reported.

The Columbia Journalism Review profiles the low-power FM movement. CJR’s website also features an interview with Pete Tridish of the Prometheus Radio Project, the low-power advocacy group that recently won a stay on the FCC’s new media ownership rules. “I really hope that NPR comes to its senses on this issue,” he says of the network’s stance on LPFM.

Barring yet another internecine squabble or legal challenge, the board of the Pacifica Foundation has passed new bylaws. By some estimates, the bylaws make Pacifica the world’s most democratic media organization, granting its listeners, staff members and volunteers a role in electing local and national boards.

The Washington Post charts public TV’s worrisome financial decline.