Fair Game in Dallas

The Dallas Morning News profiles Fair Game, the new weeknight show of news and humor from Public Radio International. “This show is proof that public radio is not humor-impaired,” says Jeff Ramirez, radio p.d. for KERA-FM in Dallas.

Marimow inquired about Inquirer job months ago

According to the New York Times, former NPR v.p. for news and (briefly) ombudsman Bill Marimow, hired yesterday as editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, expressed interest in the job as far back as August. Marimow officially takes the reins in Philly Nov. 27.

Marimow to leave NPR for Inquirer

Bill Marimow, NPR’s former v.p. for news who stepped down last month to become the network’s ombudsman, today was named editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the paper reports (press release here). Marimow previously worked at the Inquirer for 21 years, helping the paper win two Pulitzer Prizes. Marimow wrote a total of two columns as NPR ombudsman. There is no word on his replacement.

The War to air at 8 p.m., despite minor profanity

PBS announced this week that Ken Burns’ seven-part World War II doc, The War, will air over two weeks (four nights the first week, three the second) beginning Sept. 16, 2007. The episodes will air at 8 p.m. even though the doc includes some profanity. (Burns, in an interview with the New York Times, described the salty language as “so minor and so appropriate to the story.”) Stations can opt to delay broadcast until 10 p.m., or the beginning of the FCC-observed “safe harbor” for edgy content, as numerous pubcasters did with David Grubin’s Marie Antoinette in September.

Was Inskeep betraying bias?

Listener complaints prompted Bill Marimow, NPR’s ombudsman, to review an interview of Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) that aired on Morning Edition, and the ombud concludes that host Steve Inskeep was tough but fair on his subject. “What some listeners may hear as incivility or rudeness may simply be the product of a broadcast journalist making a tenacious effort to steer an experienced politician toward providing responsive answers instead of reading from a scripted playbook of party messages,” Marimow writes.

KNCT takes heat for cancelling “Now”

Mary Beth Harrell, the Democratic challenger in Texas’s 31st congressional district, accused local PBS station KNCT in Killeen of trying to hurt her campaign by “blacking out” the Nov. 3 edition of Now. The program, which examined how the war in Iraq has affected voters’ attitudes in the community, will air tonight, according to KWTX, the local CBS affiliate.

Pubradio’s entree into “the book” delayed

Arbitron announced Thursday that it will postpone reporting ratings for public radio stations alongside those of commercial stations, according to Mediaweek. Broadcasters had asked the ratings company to wait until it could report satellite and Internet radio listening as well.

Public Radio Partnership dismisses four in shakeup

The new president of the Public Radio Partnership in Louisville, Ky., dismissed four employees yesterday, including a v.p. of programming and marketing, reports the Courier-Journal. “Though difficult, I’m pretty confident these changes were the right ones to make,” says Donovan Reynolds, who took charge at the station in September after leaving Michigan Public Media in Ann Arbor.

CPB’s Bode not sure the NewsHour is as balanced as he thought

In his most recent report, CPB ombudsman Ken Bode looks at Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting’s study of NewsHour guests, released Oct. 4, and sees merit in its criticisms. Noting a statement released by NewsHour e.p. Linda Winslow in response to the study (included in this Current article), Bode says, “I come away with the feeling that the folks at the NewsHour shouldn’t seem so reflexively dismissive of the criticism this time.” PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler’s earlier take here.

NPR : A Daunting Challenge Awaits NPR Ombudsman

In his debut column as NPR’s ombudsman, Bill Marimow surveys the work ahead of him. “Based on my conversations with Jeffrey Dvorkin, NPR’s first ombudsman, who held the job for more than six years, I’ll be doing a lot of listening,” he writes.

MacNeil to host Crossroads project

Robert MacNeil, former co-anchor, with Jim Lehrer, of the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, will host next spring’s America at a Crossroads series, the project’s producing station, WETA in Arlington, Va., officially announced today. (See also the New York Times.) MacNeil, whose role with the series was also mentioned at last month’s PBS Development Conference, will anchor the CPB-launched series and provide spot reporting as necessary. The 11 initial Crossroads docs, funded largely by $20 million in CPB grants, will air 9-11 p.m. (EST) nightly, April 15-20, and will explore the “challenges confronting the world post 9/11,” according to WETA. First announced in 2004, the project was criticized last year by some system programmers and received press scrutiny during last year’s CPB controversy for including ideologically skewed programs in its lineup. Project producers say all programs will be rigorously vetted and that the series will be balanced overall.