Bill Marimow, v.p. of NPR News, explains why the network has not posted on its website the European cartoon that has offended Muslims around the world: “[T]he cartoon is so highly offensive to millions of Muslims that it’s preferable to describe it in words rather than posting it on the Web.” NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin sides with Marimow.

“I hate to say this but if PBS can’t see the value of PBS YOU, I don’t see the point of supporting local stations,” writes a viewer from Pennsylvania, one of many who wrote to PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler about the demise of PBS You.

Buried in the worst possible timeslot on the Fox News Channel, Journal Editorial Report is a “TV conspiracy for dittoheads,” writes Slate media critic Jack Shafer.

Surprise, surprise: Pubcasters may have another federal funding crisis on their hands. President Bush’s $2.77 trillion budget for 2007, released earlier today, cuts CPB’s 2007 appropriation from $400 million to $346.5 million and includes none of the $65 million pubcasters requested for digital transition and satellite system funding. It also would slightly cut Ready to Learn funding, from $24.5 million in 2006 to $24 million for 2007, and includes no money for either Ready to Teach ($11 million in 2006) or the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program ($22 million in 2006), a valuable grant source both for hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast pubcasters and for smaller stations still completing digital build-outs. “If enacted, these FY 2007 funding levels would represent a 24.7 percent reduction from CPB’s FY 2006 levels, and would be felt in all CPB programs, including station CSGs,”CPB President Pat Harrison said in a statement. “.

Public radio consultant John Sutton rounds up some mixed thoughts. Among them: “A key question for program directors today — ‘Is the program I have on the air right now better than any of the programs sitting on the listener’s iPod?'”

A fire destroyed the studio equipment of KOOP-FM in Austin, Texas, Saturday, knocking the station off the air temporarily. KOOP’s building suffered damage in another fire only a month ago. (See video of the fire on the website of Austin’s News8 TV station.)

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on War News Radio, the show about the Iraq War produced by students at Swarthmore College. “Getting in touch with Iraqis has not been the insurmountable challenge it seemed to be at the start,” a student says. “You run into more brick walls trying to get someone in the U.S. military to talk to you.” (Another story from the AP.)

A $1.35 million CPB grant will fund a project by pubTV stations in upstate New York to link via fiber optic cable, allowing them to share programming without relying on the satellite system. “We’ve got our own high-speed network between stations now. Geography is down to zero,” Robert Daino, president of WCNY in Syracuse, told the Associated Press (via Newsday).

Beginning today (Feb. 1), selected interviews from WHYY’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross will be available via Comcast’s on demand service in greater Philadephia, southern New Jersey and Deleware. “. . .Fresh Air ON DEMAND marries Gross’ audio interviews with scrolling pictures of the celebrities and streaming facts about their lives, work and careers,” said WHYY President Bill Marrazzo.