Public radio can’t blame competition from satellite radio for its recent audience slump, according to the latest installment of the Radio Research Consortium’s Audience 2010 study (PDF). The study also suggests that public radio has little reason to withhold NPR’s flagship newsmagazines from broadcast on satellite. Pubradio consultant John Sutton agrees. “To remain a significant media choice, NPR needs to have its best programming available in real time on all delivery platforms,” Sutton writes. “This is a sacrifice stations will have to make.”
Nine more stations have added American Public Television’s Create, a digital multicast channel featuring cooking, travel, painting and other how-to programming. This brings the total number of stations carrying Create to 157 (controlled by 84 licensees), reaching nearly 64 percent of US TV households.
“[W]e strongly feel that debating the Armenian Genocide is akin to arguing about the Jewish Holocaust in order to project a sense of balance,” says an online petition circulated by Armenian-Americans who object to PBS’s decision to pair the April 17 debut of The Armenian Genocide, a documentary by Andrew Goldberg, with a follow-up panel discussion. More than 11,000 individuals from around the world have signed the petition. NPR’s Scott Simon moderates the half-hour follow-up show, in which scholars debate the Turkish government’s role in the deaths of Armenian civilians during and after World War I, a sensitive topic in U.S. diplomacy, reports the Washington Post. In an online column defending a threatened boycott of PBS stations, Armenian activist and Publisher Harut Sassounian writes: “[R]emaining silent in the face of one-sided pressure on PBS by the Turkish government would be going along with Turkey’s offensive efforts to bury or tarnish the truth.” In a column published today, Sassounian calls on supporters to ask their members of Congress to demand that PBS drop the panel discussion.
“[I]n the 17 months since he jumped to pay radio, Edwards has displayed more range and reportorial chops than some at NPR had given him credit for,” writes the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher about Bob Edwards and his XM Radio show.
CPB isn’t covered by the Freedom of Information Act, so nonprofits probing Ken Tomlinson’s period as chairman continue trying to use FOIA to spring CPB-related documents from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a U.S. panel Tomlinson still chairs. Common Cause, Center for Digital Democracy and Free Press yesterday appealed [PDF] BBG’s rejection of their Nov. 22 FOIA request. Their lawyer, David L. Sobel, requested e-mails, phone logs and other records relating to Tomlinson’s CPB work, particularly communications with the White House. BBG official Martha Diaz-Ortiz told them in January that the documents would be “personal records” beyond FOIA’s reach.
Newsman Dan Rather will be on hand today in Marfa, Texas, to help launch KRTS-FM, a new public radio station serving the small town and its sparsely populated surroundings. “There’s probably a big part of the population here that has never heard of NPR,” says a resident in the New York Times. (More coverage in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.)
NPR will soon start broadcasting to Berlin on a frequency recently vacated by Voice of America. It’s the first station the network has ever operated on its own. Never fear, Berliners: there will be no pledge drives.
The weekly cume audience for WVXU-FM in Cincinnati jumped by 35 percent after a switch to an all-news format last summer, reports the Cincinnati Post. “I don’t think any of us expected such a great start for the new WVXU,” said Richard Eiswerth, g.m.
This American Life’s deal to produce a TV show requires the show’s relocation to New York, reports the Chicago Reader — a change host Ira Glass says won’t matter much. “I work 70 hours a week. Sometimes it feels like I’d be doing the same program if I lived on the space shuttle.”
NPR has named Bill Marimow v.p. of news. Marimow joined the network in May 2004 as managing editor and recently served as acting news veep after the departure of Bruce Drake. His long career in journalism has included tenures at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Baltimore Sun.
Al Lewis, who played Grandpa Munster on television’s The Munsters and hosted a show on Pacifica’s WBAI-FM in New York, died Friday at the age of 82, reports USA Today. Monday’s Democracy Now featured an excerpt of a 1997 interview with Lewis. NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu also contributed a remembrance.