Marketplace reports on the competitive threats and economic challenges facing public TV.
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.
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.
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.”
The CPB Board followed its own inclination over the urgings of numerous public broadcasters last week, naming former GOP chair Patricia S. Harrison as the corporation’s next president.
The White House confirmed that Tomlinson will not be dismissed.
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.
Public TV has to move on two fronts to protect Ready to Learn, the Department of Education grant program that supports several PBS Kids series.
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?