Profile of BBC’s Katty Kay

MarketWatch’s Jon Friedman profiles Katty Kay, a co-anchor on BBC World News and Washington correspondent for the British network. “Yes, BBC World reaches 281 million households worldwide,” Friedman writes. “But, like soccer, the BBC remains second-string, and probably always will be, to the tradition-bound American audience.”

More ‘Postcards from Buster’ on PBS

The New York Times reports on the return of Postcards from Buster, the PBS children’s series that was “attacked by the secretary of education, pilloried by conservatives, then abandoned by its underwriters” after a 2005 episode portraying the lives of real kids with lesbian parents.

GAO reports on Smithsonian’s TV deal

The Government Accountability Office concluded that the Smithsonian followed contracting guidelines in negotiating its controversial programming partnership with Showtime Networks, but the institution failed to provide sufficient information about the deal to policymakers and filmmakers. After reviewing the contract and Smithsonian internal policies, GAO investigators report that it’s too early to determine whether the partnership will limit filmmakers’ access to Smithsonian archives. Reporters for Associated Press (via freepress) and the Washington Post interpreted GAO’s conclusions differently.

WFMU, WXXI get grants from payola fund

WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., and WFMU-FM in Jersey City, N.J., received grants from the New York State Music Fund, which was created from settlements between the state and major record labels over violations of payola laws.

WETA May Fill Classical Music Gap Left by WGMS –

WETA-FM in Washington, D.C., might return to airing classical music if the city’s sole classical outlet, a commercial station, switches to sports news, reports the Washington Post. WETA abandoned classical for news/talk last year after losing audience for some time. The Post’s Marc Fisher praises the potential return to classical: “Finally, the notion that public radio exists to serve the public in ways that commercial radio cannot or will not crept back to center stage.” Meanwhile, pubradio consultant John Sutton calls it “a lost opportunity for all of public radio.”

The Scientist profiles Radio Lab

The Scientist writes up NPR’s Radio Lab. “People are still daunted by words like ‘physics’ and ‘biology.’ Say ‘science’ and they get a funny look in their eyes,” says co-host Robert Krulwich. “Say ‘Travolta’ and they know exactly where they stand . .

Winer takes offense at This I Believe plea for funds

Blogger Dave Winer says he submitted an essay to This I Believe, the series airing on NPR’s newsmags, and never heard back–until he got an e-mail asking him for a donation. “I poured my heart into the essay, after spending a year thinking about what to write,” he writes. “Now I gotta wonder, if I don’t send the money, will they consider my essay. Or if I do send the money will they run it?” TIB co-producer Dan Gediman apologized, Winer reports (scroll down), and NPR has tried to distance itself from the whole thing.

Bloggers blast ‘GBH report

WGBH’s Beat the Press took a beating for an erroneous report about bloggers who are funded by political campaigns. The Boston Herald and the Boston Phoenix report on the controversy and a blogger for Blue Mass Group proposes his own set of remedies.

WDET-FM manager resigns – 12/12/06 – The Detroit News Online

Michael Coleman has resigned as g.m. of WDET-FM in Detroit after a year and a half in the job, reports the Detroit News. “I was hired to do a specific job and we changed the format, restored balance to programming, brought the roots music programs back and increased audience numbers substantially,” Coleman said. “I’m looking forward to the next great adventure.”

Lubinsky spins nostalgia for Sirius listeners

T.J. Lubinsky, producer of PBS’s Doo Wop pledge specials, will spin vinyl and take listener requests on Doo Wop Gold, a weekly show debuting on Sirius Satellite Radio tonight, reports the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Producer ‘pulls the plug’ on “Inside Albany”

AP reports that Inside Albany, a public affairs series broadcast by New York public TV stations since 1975, will shut down production on Dec. 31. “The frustration of not being able to cover more stories and the strain of running a business while running after news has caused us to decide to end Inside Albany‚Äôs long run,” the producers said in a statement.

Coda for the Classics: Public Radio’s Failed Mission – Raw Fisher

The Washington Post Marc Fisher surveys his city’s public radio offerings in the wake of news that a commercial classical station is likely to be sold and change format. “Washington will now become the largest city in the country with no classical music on the radio at all,” he writes. “Listeners will have no choice but to look to pay satellite radio for the classics–or for many other genres of music.”

Discovery cuts education group jobs

Discovery is cutting 84 jobs from Discovery Education, the division that sells educational videos and digital educational material to schools, the Washington Post reports. Discovery Education aggressively expanded in 2004, buying up competitors as it tried to establish a leadership position in the K-12 market.

Redskins Owner Set to Buy Last Classical Station –

WGMS-FM, a commercial station in Washington, D.C., that is the city’s sole classical outlet, could change hands and switch to a sports-talk format, reports the Washington Post. Dan DeVany, g.m. of public WETA-FM, would not speculate as to whether his station would return to a classical format if the sale of WGMS goes through. (Current article about WETA’s switch to all-news, 2005.)

RadioSutton: Promoting the Competition?

John Sutton raises some questions about fears of competition from satellite radio: “If local programming is the future of public radio, especially the local content inserted in Morning Edition, then why is satellite radio considered serious competition? It shouldn’t be, unless the talk about local programming being the future is more bravado than reality.” Meanwhile, execs at Sirius Satellite Radio say they see value in a potential merger with XM Satellite Radio, their sole rival, reports the Washington Post.

Public radio and story

Robert Paterson contemplates what lies at the heart of the public radio experience: “. . . [A]t the heart of good public radio is Story. And that Story is a ‘Transforming Process’ that at its best tells each of us about how to be more human.”