KOCE will remain a public TV station, it appears. Its operator, a community college district in Orange County, Calif., rejected bids from religious broadcasters and accepted one from the KOCE Foundation last night, the Los Angeles Times reported. With strong fundraising, the foundation upped its original $10 million bid to $32 million despite the loss of KCET as a partner.

Coast Community College District, operator of KOCE in Orange County, Calif., will decide whether to sell the public TV station at a board meeting tonight. Two religious broadcasters remain as bidders along with the KOCE Foundation, which would keep the station in the pubTV camp, the Los Angeles Times reported. Via www.MediaInfoCenter.org.

NPR’s Terry Gross was unfair to Bill O’Reilly in her much-discussed interview with the Fox News host, writes NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin. And he says her resorting to an “empty chair” interview approach was “an unethical technique and should not be used on NPR.”

The National Association of Broadcasters is trying to discredit a MITRE study of low-power FM, claiming it is technically flawed and falls short of its congressional mandate. NPR also questions MITRE’s methodology but, breaking from precedent, suggests ways the FCC could begin limited licensing of LPFMs on third-adjacent channels. (Comments are PDFs.) [Earlier coverage in Current.]

A contributor to DIYmedia.net describes a recent confrontation with NPR President Kevin Klose over low-power FM. “It almost seems like if [former FCC Chairman Bill] Kennard would have shown him some personal deference, Klose might have swung the other way on the issue,” s/he writes. Paul at mediageek provides some additional background and links.

“We need public media more than ever,” said Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman at a event in Tucson, Ariz., reports The Tucson Citizen.

“I put myself through the ordeal to get definitive proof of what NPR is,” says Bill O’Reilly in The Philadelphia Inquirer of his appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air. Letter-writers continue to discuss the interview in the Letters section of Romenesko. Says one: “I’m holding out hope for Mara Liasson . . .

The first anniversary edition of the Association of Independents in Radio Member Spotlight features all AIR members, tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

Rich Tucker of the Heritage Foundation hammers public TV as an anachronism on Cybercast News Service. Tucker jumps on the bandwagon recently revived by law student Daniel Lyons in the Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal Constitution and other papers.

In Slate magazine, Stephen Metcalf tells how America’s Test Kitchen wins over viewers despite or perhaps because of its “overwhelming wonkishness” of its food talk and the “studied crumminess” of its production values. He suspects the co-hosts are flirting with each other in some nerdy low-key way.

Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star advises viewers how they can catch PBS shows like Independent Lens that local station KCPT chooses not to air.

A Wisconsin company has introduced a board game based on public radio’s Whad’Ya Know?, complete with a Michael Feldman bobblehead, reports The Capital Times.

In his latest “Media Matters” column, NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin addresses the case of an incomplete transcript and suggests NPR should not shy from naming CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Andrea Levin charges in The New York Post that the effect of NPR’s Middle East coverage “is to promote the views of Israel’s detractors.” Levin is executive director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

Sparks fly on WHYY’s Fresh Air as Terry Gross interviews Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor and frequent critic of NPR. Listen to the interview on the show’s website. The denizens of online community blog MetaFilter discuss the dust-up. An episode of The O’Reilly Factor posed the question, “Why did National Public Radio’s Terry Gross ambush O’Reilly?” And a public radio news director calls O’Reilly “hypocritical.”

The Baltimore Sun profiles Ira Glass and also notes the death of his mother.

TV critics review Frontline’s season opener, “Truth, War and Consequences,” in the New York Times, Washington Post and Salt Lake Tribune.

WTMD (Towson, Md.) and WEMC (Harrisonburg, Va.) were among 28 radio stations fined $3,000 by the FCC today for failing to keep proper public files.

Heavy viewers of the Fox News Channel are nearly four times as likely to hold demonstrably untrue positions about the war in Iraq as are consumers of NPR and PBS, according to a study described in the Baltimore Sun.

Public TV execs and viewers respond to an anti-PBS op-ed that ran in several newspapers: the Salem Statesman Journal, the St. Petersburg Times and the Minneapolis Star Tribune (registration required).