Orange County’s Coast Community College District is sounding antsy about delays in its sale of KOCE to the station’s nonprofit arm, judging from the latest Los Angeles Times report. Daystar, the religious broadcaster that bought KERA’s second channel in Dallas and bid unsuccessfully for KOCE, is threatening to sue the college district.

A Maryland state representative says he’ll ask the FCC for a hearing on the pending sale of a Christian station to WYPR-FM in Baltimore, reports AP. Opponents of the transfer say it will leave Frederick, Md., without a locally based Christian station.

The LA Times (subscription required) reports that religious broadcaster Daystar Television Network is has threated to sue over its lost bid for KOCE in Orange County, Calif. “If this were a publicly held corporation, it would be ripe for a lawsuit in which those who control the company are playing favorites with bidders,” comments one legal expert. [Current’s earlier coverage of the sale.] Dallas pubcaster KERA sold its second TV channel to Daystar, which took control of KDTN last month.

KPBS in San Diego is producing a radio version of California Connected, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. KPBS and three other California stations already co-produce a TV version of the show.

Iowa State University is planning to acquire a bankrupt FM station that could bring public radio to 44,000 unserved people, reports the Ames Tribune. Iowa regents will consider the purchase Thursday. (More coverage in the Iowa State Daily.)

NPR’s Anne Garrels and a Frontline co-production were among the George Polk award-winners announced yesterday, reports the New York Times (registration required). (Via Romenesko.)

Technology vendors chosen by PBS for its new package of station automation hardware and software were announced today. The optional ACE package for stations includes servers from Omneon Video Networks, scheduling software from BroadView Technologies and other systems from Miranda Technologies. Current described the offer in December.

NPR has closed its Tokyo news bureau and opened another in Hanoi, Vietnam, staffed by reporter Michael Sullivan.

The Stanley Foundation will cease producing its public radio show, Common Ground, April 30.

The freedom granted by online media is “something that newspapers can only dream about,” says Christopher Lydon in the Guardian.

Minnesota Public Radio announced yesterday that it will begin distributing almost all of its own programs, taking that business from longtime rep Public Radio International. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports. In 2000, PRI filed a lawsuit, later settled, in an effort to prevent similar competition from MPR.

A v.p. at WFPK-FM in Louisville, Ky., was suspended for three days after mouthing off to a journalist who had criticized program changes at the station, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.

On the Media co-host Bob Garfield critiques our image-obsessed media in The Washington Post: “On the altar of all-news-all-the-time has been sacrificed the permanence of history.”

“Kids can have a very wonderful relationship with ‘Arthur,’ but let’s face it: He’s an aardvark.” The Detroit Free Press ponders the absence of live humans on children’s television.

In a Miami Herald editorial, J-school ethicist Edward Wasserman writes that the BBC’s report on weapons of mass destruction may have been more accurate than the “sexed up” intelligence dossier that it discredited, but the Beeb’s handling of the controversial report was “just as heedless and arrogant as the politicos who were the targets of the broadcast.” [Via Media Bistro.]

Coonrod’s plan works: Cox will head CPB

Kathleen A. Cox will step up from chief operating officer of CPB, becoming the corporation’s first woman president July 1 [2004]. Robert T. Coonrod, president since 1997, said he recognized her as a good successor four years ago and groomed her for the job. The CPB Board announced Cox’s promotion Jan. 27. Coonrod will work with her at CPB until October and says he wants to find a new job after that.

TV Future Fund will die, but R&D thrust lives on at CPB

The Television Future Fund is dead, long live the Television Future Fund. CPB will discontinue the R&D fund this fall, redirecting about $4 million to public TV stations’ Community Service Grants for next fiscal year. The corporation has not decided the future of its Public Radio Public Service Competitive Fund, which gets some of its funding in a similar way. The decision on the TV fund not only aids hard-pressed station but also defuses a political time bomb. Some stations contend CPB reallocated money illegally to set up the Future Fund nine years ago.

“Despite Beyond the Color Line’s scholarly pedigree and A-list interviewees, it too often falls victim to that bland, earnest tone that dogs the PBS documentary.” Slate reviews Henry Louis Gates’ new PBS series on divisions within the African American community.

WGBH is negotiating with Boston city authorities for permission to cover part of its new headquarters with a”digital skin” of electronic images overlooking the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Boston Globe says. ‘GBH promises to be classy but the city fears others might not be. [Earlier article on WGBH’s new home.]