Marketplace reports on the competitive threats and economic challenges facing public TV.

NPR reports on and provides downloads of The Mann Report, a CPB consultant’s study of political balance on PBS and NPR programs.

Pubcasters should be thrilled that the House restored CPB’s 2006 funding, but “that price will be paid, as is so often the case in today’s Washington, by the people who depend on government help for essential health care and education and job-training services,” writes David Broder in the Washington Post. The columnist looks at the programs that were cut to enable return of the system’s funds.

Public Radio Today, an Arbitron report, is chock-full of number-crunching thrills. (PDF)

CPB’s bipolar approach to political programming extends to its $20 million “America at a Crossroads” project, the New York Times reports. First, the corporation gave a preliminary grant for a film about controversial neocon and former Bush advisor Richard Perle to an old Perle pal. Then it commissioned a critical examination of Bush foreign policy to balance the first film. “I think the American tradition of journalism is that if something is controversial, the initial treatment of it would provide sufficient balance,” said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, who helped PBS update its editorial guidelines.

Big Bird and the usual Sesame Street suspects figure heavily in this collection of editorial cartoons about public broadcasting’s recent troubles, available via Slate.

Over at the TV Barn, Aaron Barnhart gives the rundown on the $112 million that’s still missing from the various coffers that fund public broadcasting every year.

In today’s Los Angeles Times, Tavis Smiley and NPR President Kevin Klose respond to the revelation that the political content analysis secretly commissioned by CPB Board Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson examined programs helmed by Smiley and Diane Rehm.

CPB named 11 more producers receiving R&D money for its America at the Crossroads project, which aims to prepare 20 hours of programming for broadcast around the fifth anniversary of 9/11. When the producers have completed R&D, CPB will choose which will get production funds.

In an epilogue to her feature on pubcasting funding, On the Media co-host Brooke Gladstone reveals that Lyndon Johnson invented the Internet [RealAudio file] — or at least foresaw it at the time he was godfathering public broadcasting.The BBC will double spending on journalism training to 10 million pounds a year, but has decided to do it online rather than creating a bricks-and-mortar college, The Scotsman of Edinburgh reported.

The New York Times Magazine profiles Nic Harcourt, music director at KCRW-FM in Santa Monica, Calif.: “At a time in radio when D.J.’s generally possess little personality and no responsibility for choosing the music they play, he has emerged as the country’s most important disc jockey and a genuine bellwether.”

A California appeals court overruled the sale of Orange County’s public TV station to the KOCE Foundation, saying that a decision to reject the higher bid of religious broadcasters was the “rankest form of favoritism,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

House votes 2 to 1 to restore CPB aid

A week of rallies, petitions, public service announcements and entreaties to Congress persuaded the House of Representatives to restore the $400 million appropriation for next year that Congress advance-funded two years ago.

“Then on Thursday a Rove dream came true: Patricia Harrison … ascended to the CPB presidency,” writes Frank Rich in a New York Times op-ed today. The right doesn’t want to kill off public broadcasting, Rich says, but “annex it to the larger state propaganda machine….”

Dora the Explorer runs circles around Barney & Friends, according to this Slate analysis of kidvid marketing strategies.

Public radio commentator Gabriel Wisdom was kicked off San Diego’s KPBS-FM and booted from Marketplace after one of his commentaries for the business show sounded remarkably like a column in Slate.

People for the American Way called it a “landslide.” Urged on by pubcasting backers around the country, the House voted 284-140 to restore $100 million cut from CPB’s budget in a subcommittee, AP reported. However, the House did not undo the $23 million deletion of the Ready to Learn program for children’s TV or $89 million in requested aid for digital transition and pubTV’s satellite system overhaul. More than 80 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting an amendment by Reps. David Obey (D-Wis.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Jim Leach (R-Iowa), said Free Press, one of several groups that helped pubcasters publicize the issue.How did your House member vote?