The current issue of Library Journal highlights a June report, Partnership for a Nation of Learners: Joining Forces, Creating Value (PDF), that details work between the Institute of Museum Library Services and CPB promoting community collaborations. Among the projects cited is an effort in Iowa to improve reading skills among Hispanic parents. Partners were Iowa Public Television, the State Library of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Education.
Call it Fred 2.0 or Mister Rogers’ cyber-neighborhood: The much loved pubcasting kids show has a new web site, reports The Boston Globe. “Although some of the content is decades old, the look of the site is radiant and fresh with bright primary colors, ” the paper notes. Cathy Droz of Rogers’ Family Communications production company says, “It’s reintroducing Fred.” One video clip: Rogers testifying before the Senate in 1968 to try for more funding for his show and other PBS programs.
Dual-licensee KPBS in San Diego is looking for its first director of news. Also, Keith York, head programmer for 12 years, is moving to oversee corporate fundraising. And John Decker, director of radio programming, will add television to his duties. That’s all part of a wide-ranging reorganization as the station also increases its focus on news and works to spend less on top-level executive salaries, according to the Voice of San Diego website. Spending on new media also will grow by 15 percent to $1.05 million.
Time Warner Cable is dropping eight of 22 public TV channels in Ohio and Kentucky. Gone are two pubTV stations from basic cable and six from its digital service, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer: WCVN in Covington, Ky.; WPTD (Think TV 16) in Dayton; the Kids channel from Cincinnati’s CET; WPTO (Think TV 14) in high def, and digital multicast channels. Time Warner is replacing one with the Home Shopping Network. The company says it is making the changes to prevent duplicate programming.
Indie producer Huell Howser, who’s been associated with KCET for nearly 25 years, “is a kind of natural wonder,” writes LA Times TV critic Robert Lloyd, “practically the last living representative of local television in Los Angeles, and for all I know, in America … ” Howser has seven series now in production, including California’s Gold, California’s Green, Downtown, Road Trip and Visiting, carried by many of the state’s PBS affiliates. “I don’t have an agent,” Howser, 58, told Lloyd. “I don’t have a manager, I don’t have a press agent, I don’t have a wardrobe guy, a makeup guy, a parking space, a dressing room. It’s basically me and a cameraman and an editor and a couple of guys in the office.
Carol Pierson, president of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, told member stations this week that she’ll retire in January after 13 years in the job. In that time, the Oakland-based group has grown from less than 100 to nearly 150 member stations, developed the affiliated group Native Public Media, which is working with 30-some Native American groups with construction permits for new pubradio stations, and with the fledgling Latino Public Radio Consortium. Pierson, who will be 65, says she plans to spend some time visiting with her daughter and granddaughter in England and her sister in Spain. NFCB will advertise for a successor next week (on this site at current.org/jobs), with an application deadline of Sept. 11.
Guy Raz, best known for covering the wartime Pentagon for NPR, is graduating to official weekend host of All Things Considered. He had guest-hosted for several months, kicking off a Three-Minute Fiction contest that has so far received 5,000 listener entries. Joining NPR in 1997 [bio], he served as an ATC intern and as an aide to Daniel Schorr. He reported for the network from more than 40 countries, becoming bureau chief in Berlin in 2000 and in London in 2003. Raz then reported for CNN for two years, serving as its Jerusalem correspondent.
WQLN-TV in Erie, Pa., will continue to broadcast into London, Ontario, in an agreement reached late Tuesday with Canada’s Rogers Cable, according to the Erie Times News. Rogers originally had decided to replace WQLN-TV with Detroit Public Television for that area. WQLN protests as it receives about $200,000 in annual pledges from the London vicinity. But another problem looms for the station. Dwight Miller, g.m., told the paper that WQLN may still eventually close or cut staff if it receives less than the $250,000 in proposed state funding.
Considering a career or freelancing in public broadcasting? The Asian American Journalists Association will hold a one-hour public panel Friday, Aug. 14 at WGBH during the AAJA’s annual convention in Boston. More in Opportunities.
Reading Rainbow frequent winner of the national Emmy for children’s series, will leave the PBS satellite feed Aug. 28 and stations’ broadcast rights will end after a quarter century on public TV. No new episodes of the children’s program have been produced for several years and PBS removed the series from its weekday strip last fall to make room for new programs with reading and science/math content, according to producing station WNED in Buffalo. John Grant, chief content officer at the station, told Current that WNED doesn’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would be needed to renew broadcast rights—primarily Writers Guild fees. Grant said WNED is talking with PBS about maintaining a version of the annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, which still involves 96 stations.
Just where did folk singer Pete Seeger come up with the idea for that hammer song, anyway? Well, now you can submit that question and others to him directly — electronically, that is. The PBS Engage blog is soliciting questions for the legendary troubadour and musical activist in honor of his 90th birthday concert on Great Performances Thursday night (check local listings) and throughout August. Lauren Saks, web producer and blogger for Engage, will choose five questions for Seeger to answer; responses will be posted next week.
Two from public radio compete in separate categories of the online election held by Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communication. Public voting ends Friday night. Click to get your ballot. This year, 16 broadcasters are nominated in four categories: Ira Glass is up against several other national radio names, and Ed Walker, host of Sunday night showcase of radio serials and comedy, The Big Broadcast, on WAMU here in D.C., is one of the local broadcasters nominated. In a fifth category, posthumous, Studs Terkel is one of three winners already announced.
A personal blog in which a public radio reporter ranted about her remote Alaska town has prompted her departure from NPR member station KDLG-AM in Dillingham (population: 4,933). Eileen Goode resigned Monday after complaints from locals about her blog, “I’m in Dillingham Alaska — What’s Your Excuse?” The station received about three dozen email and phone complaints after someone took notice of the blog and emailed passages to residents. In the blog, Goode writes about everything from a colleague’s lack of underwear (“my co-worker goes commando, and apparently has been doing so for some time”) to, as The Anchorage Daily News noted, “a surreal 5,000-word rant about whether she should cut her toe off.” Goode has reported for KDLG since December 2007.
Trader: The Documentary, which aired on PBS in 1987, was momentarily posted on YouTube thanks to an anonymous user who uploaded the film in seven parts. The doc profiles Paul Tudor Jones II, 32 at the time, who is now a billionaire hedge-fund manager. Jones asked the director, Michael Glyn, to remove the film from circulation in the 1990s. Why? According to an October 2007 New York Times story, “It is no surprise that Mr. Jones wants some distance from that version of himself.
All the preparation that goes into an episode of NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! is on display thanks to The Chicago Tribune’s behind-the-scenes story on the popular show. If you happen to be in the Windy City wandering around Navy Pier you may catch a glimpse of a staffer. The show’s offices are “a collection of cubicles on the second floor of Chicago Public Radio’s Navy Pier offices,” the paper says, noting that the Wait Wait employees “are the ones dressed more like bicycle messengers.”
NPR President Vivian Schiller and former NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin throw cold water on the idea that philanthropic support can save ailing newspapers. Schiller tells Newsweek: “I laugh when I see that. The notion is that you declare yourself not for profit, and poof, all of your problems go away….It’s incredibly naive.” Dvorkin blogs: NPR’s Science desk has been an “astonishing magnet for philanthropies,” so much so that science reporting came to be overrepresented in NPR’s overall news coverage. “It was always more difficult to raise money for covering Washington.
CPB has issued a request for proposals for vendors to help with training of participants and logistical work for a planned pubmedia barcamp Oct. 17 and 18 in Washington, organized by PBS and NPR. CPB will help 10 stations send two staffers each. Check out the RFP requirements here.
“We are a news content organization, not just a radio organization,” says NPR President Vivian Schiller, in this New York Times piece on the redesign of NPR.org that launched over the weekend. Improved navigation and readability–especially for news audiences–are hallmarks of the revamped website, a demonstration of NPR’s push to create content that makes NPR.org a “news destination in its own right,” she said, rather than an online companion to its radio programming. Web users who designate a favorite NPR station get a co-branded homepage that’s one click away from a menu of local content. Schiller acknowledges that the site does not resolve the the long-festering “bypass issue.” In a Q&A with Newsweek, Schiller says NPR has plans to help stations strengthen their web services.
Antiques Roadshow embarked on a first-ever effort for the show in Denver last Saturday: Appraisers examined pieces of government-held unclaimed jewelry. The Colorado State Treasurer’s unclaimed property division contains some $450 million of objects or cash. There’s even a Great Colorado Payback website for residents to search. As with all of the tour stops, the action was taped for consideration as part of Antiques Roadshow’s 2010 season. At one recent appraisal session, Roadshow scored its first million-dollar appraisal.
Ben Bernanke is in the news with remarks made during a NewsHour town meeting. During the discussion in Kansas City, Mo., the fed chair said government bailouts by the Central Bank and other moves were necessary to avoid “a second Depression.” Anchor Jim Lehrer moderated the event, set to run in several installments on the show this week. Here’s the transcript.