A former freelancer for NPR has filed a lawsuit against the Museum of Modern Art alleging that the museum got him fired from his reporting job. David D’Arcy claims that MoMA officials lied to his editors at NPR and demanded a false correction. An NPR spokeswoman denied the charges in the suit, according to a UPI clip.NPR reporter sues MoMA over firing

Gerry Weston is stepping down as president of the Public Radio Partnership in Louisville under pressure from the nonprofit’s board, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.

NPR has named Ted Koppel a senior news analyst and hired ABC’s Michel Martin (bio) to host a daily two-hour public affairs show aimed at African-American listeners. Koppel will provide analysis on newsmags and other shows about 50 times a year and be on hand for breaking news and special events coverage. Martin will contribute to programs and serve as a substitute host until her own show debuts later this year.

Peruse WFMU’s extensive collection of velvet paintings (featuring the likenesses of Zell Miller, Osama Bin Laden and JonBenet Ramsey, among others) in all their splendor. (Oh, and news to us: WFMU has a home on Flickr.)

A major AM news station’s switch to FM in the nation’s capital is “a direct attack” on the city’s public radio stations, writes a Billboard Radio Monitor analyst.

NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin says some of his network’s breaking coverage of the West Virginia mine disaster showed “a lack of sensitivity for the miners and their families.”

News about angry pubradio listeners’ lawsuit against Detroit’s WDET made the New York Times today. Seven station members on Dec. 19 sued the station for fraud, claiming the music station tricked them into pledging in October even as managment planned to switch its daytime schedule to national news programming. “It’s a better business decision and it’s a better service to this urban market,” Michael Coleman, general manager of WDET, told the Times. “I think public radio needs to be about more than music programming.”

“Fairness and balance, Mr. Brancaccio, keep it in mind.” CPB Ombudsman Ken Bode chastises Now’s host for lobbing “softball questions” at Craig McDonald of Texans for Public Justice, a chief critic of Rep. Tom Delay, during a Sept. 30 interview. The program, which included a report critical of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, prompted a complaint from South Carolina Republican Congressman Bob Inglis. In his Dec.

Professionals from the fields of public radio and the performing arts will meet in New York this month for the Music & Media forum. The two-day event, staged by representatives from public radio’s major networks, will focus on finding new ways to collaborate and increase audiences for jazz, classical and alternative music on the air and in performance.

“[W]ho wouldn’t love a big, friendly, stoned (and “energetic”) tree sloth and all his singing, dancing buddies?,” asks Blogging Baby, in a review of the new PBS Kids show, It’s a Big, Big World. A critic for the LA Times notes that series creator Mitchell Kriegman followed the Mister Rogers paradigm in casting his lead character Snook as a giant tree sloth who talks and moves slowly. But the Boston Globe’s reviewer wrote that Snook is too laid back to stand out in the crowded field of beloved kids TV characters.

Slate’s Andy Bowers (formerly of NPR) picks podcasts of the year, including a couple from the world of public radio.

U.K. residents (but not the rest of us) can now download 80 notable packages of news footage from the BBC archives, the AP reported. For instance, they can watch the Berlin Wall come down in Windows Media, Quicktime or MPEG-1 formats, and then edit the footage and use it for noncommercial purposes, giving credit. The few restrictions are laid out in the Creative Archive License, which requires users to share their derivative works under the same terms. Channel 4, the British Film Institute and the Open University will issue material under the same license, the BBC said. The Open News Archive was proposed in 2003 by Greg Dyke, then head of the Beeb.

WFMU’s blog cites rumors that the FCC will open a five-day filing window for noncommercial educational stations within six months. But communications attorney John Crigler says a better guess would place a window later this year, after the commission has cleared a backlog of mutually exclusive proceedings.

The nation’s capital will pick up a new commercial news/talk station that’s described in The Washington Post as “NPR on caffeine.” The Post, in fact, will program the station and previously sought a similar partnership with the city’s WETA-FM.

Broadcast technicians represented by NABET Local 31 voted to reject “best and final” contract proposals offered separately by PBS and NPR. To pressure PBS to reconsider its offer, the union plans to appeal to workers to withhold their donations to PBS stations, according to the Washington Times.

By the end of 2006, WGBH aims to raise $40 million for its new headquarters under construction in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood, according to its website. Included is a $10 million endowment to cover operating costs of a planned event hall, a 200-seat theater and other new spaces. Also online: a live webcam showing construction, architect’s renderings and the plan’s eco-friendliness. [Earlier Current article.]

Public Radio International named Alisa Miller its new president. Miller formerly served as senior v.p. of PRI’s content wing and joined the corporation in 2001.

Looking back to a Sept. 30 segment on PBS’s Now, correspondent Maria Hinojosa did “some good work” providing insights into FEMA’s post-Katrina Gulf Coast problems, writes PBS ombudsman Michael Getler, but he’s troubled by her unsupported claim that FEMA had treated Florida much better in 2004 because it was a swing state in an election year. A segment on Rep. Tom DeLay’s legal problems was also “noticeably one-sided.” In the stories, Getler says, Now’s valuable reporting is diminished by unnecessary “political touches” and the omission of even a file clip of DeLay’s self-defense.

A New York Times feature contrasts next week’s PBS doc, Country Boys, with predictable accounts of the poverty cycle. “Everyone wants things to be all black and white, but with me everything is nuance,” Sutherland says. Shot in 1999-01, the project debuts Jan. 9 on Frontline. The filmmaker estimates it’s “a half-million dollars over budget, and two and a half years late.”