A Los Angeles Times story lays bare Ira Glass’s struggle to bring his radio show to television: “Time and again, Glass seemed unable to reconcile himself with the pace of a TV story — in which the mind reads images faster than the speed of a narrator, leaving him no room to do what he knows best.”
Dick Gordon, former host of public radio’s The Connection, writes in the Boston Globe on the show’s last day: “I’m still bewildered as to why the program was canceled.” “We have lost an important set of voices — actual conversations about important topics,” writes a fan in a letter to the Globe.
Ken Tomlinson’s chairmanship of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, overseer of VOA and other overseas broadcast units, compares with his guidance of CPB, writes Franklin Foer in The New Republic Aug. 15 issue — asserting that both are marked by partisan purges, ideological hirings and closed meetings. NPR’s David Folkenflik filed a similar report for NPR in June. Both Foer and Folkenflik refer to the Foreign Affairs magazine article by Sanford Ungar [partial article online], a former VOA director and ATC co-host who is now president of Goucher College in Baltimore. Tomlinson and criticized VOA Director David S. Jackson respond to Ungar’s article here.
Three journalists quit a health program project at Connecticut PTV after top managers pressed them to interview execs of a hospital that partially funded the project, the Hartford Courant reported today [image of front page]. The Courant launched its critique of CPT yesterday with a piece criticizing its reduced local programming and the management of President Jerry Franklin. The newspaper points to Pittsburgh’s WQED as a station of similar size with more local production. No gloves are laid upon the Connecticut network’s radio wing.
Iowa’s Board of Regents hired Cindy Browne as the first executive director of Iowa Public Radio today. Browne, a Minneapolis consultant, longtime exec of Twin Cities PTV and later executive v.p. of CPB, competed for the job against John Stark, g.m. of KNAU-FM, Flagstaff, Ariz. The candidates visited Iowa campuses during the unusually public hiring process. Stations at three universities are combining to create the new network.
Before Nancy Kruse’s fundraising company closed, leaving more than $400,000 in expected public radio proceeds unaccounted for, Kruse’s company bio described her as, among other things, “director of The Writing Center in San Diego” who “has a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University and, in 1997, was awarded a Eureka Fellowship for her leadership in nonprofit management.” However, Georgetown University has no record of her graduation and Eureka Communities does not list her as a past fellow. She did indeed run the Writing Center, once a nonprofit fixture of San Diego’s literary scene, but Kruse’s former co-workers, who knew her under the name Delaney Anderson, say she presided over the center’s collapse. The center’s last days in 1998 were marked by double-talk and creative accounting, they say, which also characterized the rapid decline and closing of Washington-based Nancy Kruse + Partners this year, according to many of that firm’s employees. The Writing Center’s leaders say Anderson/Kruse suddenly resigned weeks before the center’s demise amid eviction notices and bad debts. Kruse, who ran online fundraising auctions for more than 40 public radio stations in her company’s 16-month existence, has not explained to stations what happened to more than $400,000 in earnings she had reported from September’s multistation auction.
The FCC granted a request by the Station Resource Group to extend the deadline for filing comments on its proposed low-power FM rulemaking. (PDFs.) SRG said the added time would allow member stations to discuss the rulemaking in San Diego this week at its annual retreat.
Audience share for WETA-FM in Washington, D.C., has dropped from a year ago, reports the Washington Times. The station changed to an all-news format in February. WAMU-FM’s share was identical in spring 2004 and spring 2005.
Tavis Smiley addresses the debate about balance in public broadcasting: “While Washington talks about ideological balance, Americans hunger to see programming that reflects their experience and inspires their lives.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer checks on WCPN-FM/WVIZ-TV four years after the stations merged and finds low morale and a struggling news department on the radio side, according to some accounts. “The feeling was that TV management, which basically took over, didn’t understand how public radio was done successfully,” says a former WCPN reporter.