CPB turns down WSEC; station outlook bleak

WSEC in Springfield, Ill., could not secure a $460,000 grant from CPB. Its CEO, Jerold Gruebel, said the station has lost $1 million due to the recession. He said the station needs $400,000 to make it through June and July. He added that WSEC could end up carrying only the national PBS program feed.

WQED sells 40-year-old offspring Pittsburgh magazine

WQED Multimedia said today it has sold one of its creations that made it multi — the area’s biggest regional magazine, Pittsburgh magazine and its offspring City Guide, Home and Garden Magazine and Pittsburgh Weddings. The station will retain an eight-page “On Air” segment in the magazine, and it will still go to station members who donate $40 or more. WiesnerMedia, of Greenwood Village, Colo., is the buyer; it also publishes ColoradoBiz, Trucking Times and other titles, and plans to develop a regional media specialty. Terms of the deal were confidential. Publisher Betsy Benson will stay with the magazine.

Parks outreach as big as all outdoors

Doing more than her share for public TV’s $6 million outreach project surrounding Ken Burns’ National Parks series, Shanda Roberts lost her shoe in the muck of the Everglades. Reaching to retrieve it, she bent down and hit her head on a tree. A public TV crew captured the disconcerting moment — which was lighthearted compared to the time they got her into a canoe. The Roberts family’s camping trip was a South Floridian element in the varied nationwide extravaganza surrounding the six-part Burns series, which debuts on PBS Sept. 27.

One story with 1,700 authors

Cars burn in downtown Nashville. Police patrol Boise after massive power outages, widespread looting and near-riots. Our intrepid video correspondent, Kal, rides through San Francisco, taping a team of out-of-work deliverymen who steal as many bicycles as they can fit in their van. “Some might say these guys are taking the easy way out,” Kal gravely tells viewers. “But I’ve got a feeling that if this crisis continues, we’re going to see a lot more of this kind of crime.”

Scenes from the latest apocalyptic sci-fi flick?

Two showcases to be webcast live from nonCOMM today

WXPN in Philadelphia will broadcast live from two music showcases during day two of nonCOMMvention, the annual conference for pubradio’s Triple A music stations. XPN Free at Noon, a weekly live concert series that is open to the general public, is a double-header of Guy Sebastian featuring Steve Cropper, followed by the Derek Trucks Band. Four acts are on the bill of tonight’s showcase: Rhett Miller, The Avett Brothers, Pete Yorn and Delta Spirit. Tune your browser to the live webcasts here.

Sesame honors mayor, Elmo co-hosts the fun

Sesame Workshop presented New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the Global Leadership Award at a gala yesterday for the show’s 40th anniversary. There were performances by artists including Sheryl Crow, and even a video message from President Barack Obama. Co-hosts were NBC News anchor Brian Williams, and Elmo — in matching suits.

New iPhone apps in the works for NPR

NPR will launch a news-focused iPhone application in July and plans another release for its online music service by September, according to Robert Spier, director of content development for NPR Digital.During a presentation today at nonCOMMvention, the annual conference for pubradio’s contemporary music-mix stations convened by Philadelphia’s WXPN, Spier presented slides of the iPhone app interfaces. The “landing page” for the iPhone news app will feature text-based content, with icons designating audio-based stories. The app also allows users to access archived NPR shows or live streams of public radio stations. iPhone users who want to interact with NPR content will eventually be able to transfer playlists created on computers to their iPhones, although Spier anticipates this function will be added to the app later this year.The iPhone app for NPR Music will feature web-only content such as live concerts, blogs, and sharing functions. “There’s lots of discovery content [on NPR Music] that we would like to bring front and center to the iPhone,” Spier said.

Columnist suggests ending WHYY’s Delaware presence

Delaware could save “half a million bucks” if it pulled the plug on local studios of WHYY in Wilmington, Del. That’s what a News Journal columnist thinks should be done. Why? He feels that “the station’s idea of programming was offering day-old sports scores and not to broadcast news, weather or sports on weekends or holidays. That’s not a television station.”

Pubcaster’s snacks seemingly newsworthy

WETA head Sharon Percy Rockefeller turned out for the annual Party in the Garden at the Museum of Modern Art in New York a few nights back. Published reports say she may or may not have noshed on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, salad, or lobster.