Low power FM bill clears Senate panel

The Senate Commerce Committee approved S. 1675, a bill that expands the availability of low power FM frequencies by eliminating third channel protection, according to Radio Online.

PRPD reports on its classical music tests

Public Radio Program Directors has published the findings of its midday classical music study on its website, along with audio and graphics from a presentation at its recent conference in Minneapolis.

Philadelphia’s rock-oriented WXPN increased the power of its repeater in central Pennsylvania yesterday, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported. A staffer at Harrisburg’s classical/news-formatted WITF-FM said the interloper was not unwelcome competition; she admitted to being a WXPN member.

PBS Ombudsman: did funding compromise editorial content of Human Heart?

“What I didn’t do at the time, yet should have in my ombudsman’s role, was pay much attention to the main sponsors of the series [The Mysterious Human Heart],” writes PBS’s Michael Getler. In a letter to the ombudsman, Jeffrey Chester, director of the Center for Digital Democracy, asked, “how PBS (and presenting station Thirteen/WNET in New York) sought and publicly promoted the involvement of Medtronic and AstraZeneca as underwriters? As you know, both Medtronic and AstraZeneca have major commercial interests involving heart disease related medical issues.” Another viewer wrote, “Viewers are told that the best treatment for certain potentially deadly heart arrhythmias is an implantable pacemaker. Who’s the leading manufacturer of such devices?

Merger recommmended for WMUB

A committee that examined WMUB’s relationship with its licensee, Miami University of Ohio, has recommended that the station pursue a merger with other public stations and develop partnerships with academic programs within the university. General Manager Cleve Callison tells the Cincinnati Enquirer that he’s been talking at a “fairly serious level” for six months with WYSO in Yellow Springs and Dayton’s WDPR.

Martin worries about being pigeonholed

“We’re trying to make a safe place to talk about hard things,” said Michel Martin, host of NPR’s Tell Me More, in Marc Fisher’s Washington Post radio column. “One thing I’m more worried about than being pigeonholed as a black show is being pigeonholed as a women’s show.”

WCNY: no more “beg-a-thons”

“Two years ago when I took over as president of this station, I made my pledge to the community that we would be pledge-free within two years,” Robert Gaino, president of WCNY in Syracuse, told the New York Post in an article titled “Syracuse Public TV Abandons Beg-A-Thons.” The station’s professedly last pledge period ended Sept. 23. Columnist Adam Buckman’s previous complaints about pledge drew a written response from WNET President Neal Shapiro in August.

Wisconsin passes budget, pubcasting escapes cuts

Four months beyond deadline, the Wisconsin state legislature finally approved a two-year, $57.2 billion budget last night that will maintain funding levels for Wisconsin Public Broadcasting. WPB, a service of the University of Wisconsin that includes Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio, had originally been targeted for a $13 million cut by Republican lawmakers, but the amount was fully restored in the final version of the budget.