“We must bring the public back into public broadcasting.” In a report outlining financial and political threats to PBS, a consortium of media reform and consumer advocacy groups proposes town-hall style meetings on public TV’s future.

A WashingtonPost.com blogger reacts to the news that “California carpetbagger” KCRW.com is promoting concerts in the D.C. area.

In a report examining CPB’s push to exert more influence on programming, NPR’s David Folkenflik links CPB Board Chairman Ken Tomlinson to controversial decisions to hire ombudsmen and to green-light Journal Editorial Report.

Pitching Cooking Under Fire as “reality TV that feeds your brain” is a “a hunk of fat-blobbed baloney that only feeds your cynicism,” writes a Boston Globe TV critic. The series, debuting tonight on most PBS stations, is “a formulaic show that merely mimics countless niche reality contests all over TV grids.”

This New York Times Q-and-A with Ken Ferree suggests that the current head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting doesn’t watch or listen to much public broad- casting. Ferree later told Current that he was a “little misportrayed” in the interview.

You’re either with us or agin’ us, says a leader of a union boycott of the San Francisco Hilton, putting the squeeze on ITVS, which says it would lose $1 million, under its hotel contract, if it moves the Input 2005 conference out of the hotel. Rory O’Connor posted the story today on AlterNet.

Christopher Lydon is keeping a blog that looks ahead to the launch of his new show, Open Source.

NPR and Court TV will collaborate on producing hourlong quarterly specials about legal issues, reports MediaWeek.

This Washington Post piece polls pubcasting observers about whether CPB’s recent moves to add ombudsmen, bring on former Michael Powell adviser Ken Ferree and replace President Kathleen Cox is part of an effort to exert political pressure on the system. According to an unnamed FCC official, CPB “is engaged in a systematic effort not just to sanitize the truth, but to impose a right-wing agenda on PBS. It’s almost like a right-wing coup.” But CPB Board Chairman Ken Tomlinson refutes all conspiracy theories and advises the agency’s critics to”grow up.”