A former finance-office employee at WTTW in Chicago was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison for stealing more than $500,000 from the station, AP reported. Fe Corizon Cruz-Fabunan agreed to pay back $370,000. [Earlier Current story.]
Staff and volunteers at KPFA-FM in Berkeley, Calif., are accusing the station’s recently elected Local Station Board of micromanagment and unmerited attacks on staff. (Related Berkeley Daily Planet article.) In a letter to listeners, Interim General Manager Jim Bennett warns that “[t]he progressive politics that are sometimes put forward on the air will not flourish in a repressive mode of trying to get certain agendas rammed through.” Pacifica’s bylaws, enacted last year, provided for the creation and election of LSBs. Meanwhile, Pacifica pointed out that three of its stations have weekly cumulative audiences that put them among the top 30 in the country.
This article in the San Francisco Bay Guardian explores KALW’s FCC troubles and wonders why the city’s commercial stations aren’t being held to the same standard. The story, titled “Squashing David, ignoring Goliath,” quotes FCC commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, who said they are “troubled by the message we send when we send small, independent stations to hearings but give a pass to stations owned by larger media companies for troubling allegations.”
St. Olaf’s College will sell WCAL to Minnesota Public Radio for $10.5 milliion, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The college founded an AM precursor to the FM classical music station more than 80 years ago. Last year the station had member revenues of $860,000 and aid of $130,000 from the college, but the college discontinued its assistance this year, according to the Twin Cities Business Journal.
With Bob Edwards’ decision to leave NPR for a satellite radio company,
public radio is debating again a highly ponderable question: Should it embrace
satellite as a distributor for its programs or fear it as a competitor for
listeners and revenue? Edwards’ new weekday morning gig, The Bob Edwards Show, will
start the morning for a new channel, XM Public Radio. The one-hour show will
originate weekdays at 8 a.m. Eastern time and will repeat at 9 a.m. The channel
launches Sept. 1; Edwards’ show debuts Oct. 4.
The Wall Street Journal will produce a new Friday-night roundtable, Journal Editorial Report, for PBS starting Sept. 17, WNET announced. The show has major funding from CPB and will feature members of the paper’s famously conservative editorial board. They won’t be “lapdogs” for the Bush administration, WNET’s Stephen Segaller told the Hollywood Reporter.
Martha Stewart Living will offer public TV stations a new half-hour program sharing the name of its Everyday Food magazine, WETA announced this week. Stewart’s company, struggling to reestablish itself with its founder going to jail, lost $19 million in the second quarter, according to TheStreet.com.
Bob Wright, NBC Universal c.e.o. and now talent spotter, answered an indie dream by picking a documentary on capital punishment out of the Sundance Festival lineup and buying it for network broadcast, the New York Times reported. “Deadline” aired July 30 on NBC’s Dateline. Kirsten Johnson, co-director and cinematographer for the doc, has run camera for several PBS programs.