CPB announced production funding today for 20 of the 35 finalists in its America at a Crossroads initiative of 9/11-related films [RFP and lists of finalists]. Washington’s WETA will package eight of the 20 as a series, CPB said.

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill will change its name Feb. 17, adding the words “and National Journal.” The National Journal, an elite (subscriptions cost $1,800 a year) chronicler of the federal government, may someday share stories with the PBS program but will start as a partnership in marketing and fundraising, the New York Times reported today. Two National Journal advertisers, Boeing and Chevron, will join the program.

To make up for Congress’s 1 percent rescission from this year’s appropriation, the CPB Board juggled its budget Friday, moving $2.8 million to the Community Service Grant pool. The money comes from the “system support” part of CPB’s budget, which also assist stations, covering some satellite and copyright costs.

The Palm Beach Post reports that the Florida Board of Education wants a $1 million cut from the proposed sale of WXEL-TV/FM.

Former KCRW commentator Sandra Tsing Loh weighs in on the Chris Douridas affair: “[I]f there is a silver lining for Douridas, it’s that at least Ruth Seymour is not avowing his mentally (sic) instability directly to the press, and that she does not consider him, as she did me, a public danger.” (Current’s coverage of Loh’s 2004 firing from the station.)

PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler endorses viewers’ requests that PBS return Now to its original half-hour format, and agrees that programmers should evaluate the recent spate of Christian-themed PBS programs. “Is religious content being elevated these days? If so, why is that happening?”

NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin lays bare the “dibs” system by which the network’s programs claim interviews with authors and musicians. Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday, argues that the setup is unfair to weekly shows such as his.

Former Pacifica host Marc Cooper delivers a tirade against his former employer and points out that Greg Guma, recently hired as the network’s executive director, has endorsed arguments that the widely accepted account of what happened on 9/11 is untrue. “Look forward, if you can, to more programming and fund-raising that would be better suited for a UFO cult than for a serious or credible political and cultural opposition,” Cooper writes. Meanwhile, the g.m. of Pacifica’s KPFA-FM in Berkeley has resigned. In a letter on KPFA’s website, he says, “This past year has provided me with a memorable introduction to KPFA/Pacifica’s complex and challenging environment.” (Coverage in the Berkeley Daily Planet.)

Showtime has ordered six episodes of a television version of public radio’s This American Life to air this fall at the earliest. The new gig doesn’t endanger the radio version of TAL, promises Ira Glass, host and e.p. The show’s website features a brief announcement of the news.

The Boston Globe profiles Gather.com, the blogging and social-networking website backed by the parent company of Minnesota Public Radio. “We think of Gather as doing for user-driven content what eBay did for user-driven retail,” says Gather founder Tom Gerace. “Today, the problem in the blogosphere is finding what you want.” The startup announced last week that it received another $6 million in equity financing, some from Southern California Public Radio, a sibling to MPR.

Nearly all Poynter Institute staffers surveyed say they listen to NPR as part of their daily news diet.

“In the radio business, if someone’s not criticizing you for something, you’re probably not doing your job,” says Gerry Weston, who has stepped down as president of the Public Radio Partnership in Louisville, Ky. A Louisville Courier-Journal article presents a host of speculations about why Weston has resigned, reportedly under pressure from his board of directors. “It’s a complex situation,” says a former employee.

“[NPR’s leaders] still believe it is the responsibility of the journalist to focus the attention of the listener on issues that are important,” says Ted Koppel in a Wall Street Journal article about network TV reporters recently hired at NPR. NOTE: New host Michel Martin will have to adjust to a lower salary. “I’m going to save a lot of money on haircuts,” she says.

Does “a maze of twisty little roads, all alike” ring a bell? To some alert geeks, it did, and NPR science reporter David Kestenbaum has ‘fessed up to slipping that reference to an early text-adventure computer game into a recent story on Morning Edition.

The Radio Research Consortium has commissioned Audience 2010, a study led by researchers George Bailey and David Giovannoni that seeks to understand public radio’s recent decline in audience and to recommend tactics for reversing it.

(Courtney and husband fined for La. contract)

Louisiana Public Broadcasting Executive Director Beth Courtney and her husband paid a $10,000 fine after the state ethics board determined that TV production subcontracts involving Bob Courtney’s company violated conflict of interest laws, reports the Baton Rouge Advocate. (The ethics opinion is posted here.) Accuracy in Media, a right-wing media watchdog group that endorsed Kenneth Tomlinson’s campaign to balance public broadcasting, issued a news release calling for a federal investigation into whether Beth Courtney, a CPB Board member who opposed Tomlinson, violated CPB’s ethics code.

Greg Guma, co-founder of the Vermont Guardian, will become executive director of the Pacifica Foundation, left-of-center operator of five pubradio stations [Pacifica website], the Guardian reported today. Predecessor Dan Coughlin held the position three years before resigning in June 2005. Guma has edited two other progressive publications, owned bookstores, coordinated the Peace and Justice Center in Burlington and headed a legal services group for immigrants in New Mexico. Meanwhile, the board of Pacifica’s KPFA-FM in Berkeley has reportedly recommended firing the station manager there, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

A co-host of War News Radio on Swarthmore College’s public radio station discussed the show on public radio’s The World last week. (Link launches Windows Media Player file.)

Chris Douridas, a host on KCRW-FM in Santa Monica, was arrested last week on suspicion of drugging and trying to kidnap a teenaged girl, reports the Los Angeles Times. “We believe in Chris as a person, and we think he has strong character,” said a KCRW exec. (Press release from the Santa Monica Police Department.)

Will Oprah come to Masterpiece Theatre’s rescue? A Reuters story suggests that PBS will ask Harpo, Oprah Winfrey’s production company, to sponsor MT miniseries, quoting outgoing PBS President Pat Mitchell. “Oprah is incredibly philanthropic with her money and supports so many good causes,” Mitchell told reporters at last weekend’s Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena. “This would be one.” WGBH sources aren’t aware of any plans to approach Winfrey with sponsorship proposals, however.