Wildfire takes Colorado radio station off air

The main transmitter of KUNC-FM in Greeley, Colo., is off the air due to the High Park Fire, a wildfire covering almost 37,000 acres. “KUNC’s main transmitter is located on Buckhorn Mountain which is directly in the fire zone of the High Park Fire,” says a post on KUNC’s website. “There is no power at the site and as a result, KUNC is not on the air on 91.5fm.” KUNC is covering the wildfire on its website, however. UPDATE: KUNC President Neil Best emailed Current: “With the main signal down we have lost service to a translator in Boulder, the KENC station in Estes Park, and a translator on the eastern plains in Morgan County.  All of our other signals are satellite fed or take their signal from one of those sites.  Of course we are also on-line and our website is very active with information about this fire.”

Kerger among winners of annual Brand Builder Awards

PBS President Paula Kerger is one of four honorees for the 10th annual Brand Builder Awards, sponsored by Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and Promax/BDA, the international membership organization for major media marketing professionals. Other winners this year are FX Networks President John Landgraf, Sony Pictures Television President of U.S. Distribution John Weiser, and Walmart. All will be honored this week during the Promax/BDA conference in Los Angeles.

“WGBH Music” kicks off on YouTube

WGBH in Boston has launched a YouTube music channel. WGBH Music will offer radio listeners a look at short videos featuring classical, jazz, celtic, singer/songwriters and more.

Pubradio needs new ideas and courage to try them, MPR’s Collins says

Can public radio still take risks?That’s the headline of a thought-provoking post on Minnesota Public Radio’s News Cut blog by writer Bob Collins, an MPR journalist, in the wake of the Car Talk hosts’ retirement announcement.”This has been an interesting time in public radio of late,” Collins writes, “and the next few years are going to test whether it’s capable of taking a risk enough to give an outlet to new ways of doing things. Car Talk is gone, [Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison] Keillor is retiring, [MPR newsman Gary] Eichten has retired, and an increasing number of people who basically built public radio are turning things over to the next generation, which has not been well schooled in the art of betting it all on an idea.””You can do a lot of creative things when nobody listens to your radio station because there’s little downside to taking risk,” Collins writes. “But not anymore. Public radio has never been more popular and taking a risk has never been more dangerous. The early A Prairie Home Companion would have a most difficult time getting on the air — anywhere — today.

Kerger suggests viewers contact NEA “if they have issues with the focus of their funding”

In an article in the Deseret News, PBS President Paula Kerger advises viewers to reach out to the National Endowment for the Arts to voice their support for PBS arts programming. “I’ve not tried to encourage any large, grassroots efforts,” Kerger said, “but I think people should let the NEA know if they have issues with the focus of their funding.” The NEA recently broadened its Arts on Radio and Television fund to Arts in Media, resulting in far fewer grants to public radio and TV programs (Current, April 23).Kerger “recommended addressing concerns to Rocco Landesman, NEA chairman, either through direct correspondence or a phone call,” the Salt Lake City, Utah, newspaper said in the Saturday (June 9) story.

Academic study on thank-you gifts for donations yields unexpected results

A new study on thank-you gifts in exchange for donations has produced counterintuitive results, according to Psychology Today: Receiving a gift unconditionally, such as with a solicitation letter, can have a positive effect, but conditional gifts — an offer of receiving a gift later, in return for a donation — may actually suppress donations.The research was conducted by George E. Newman, assistant professor of organizational behavior in the Yale School Management, and Y. Jeremy Shen, of Yale’s school of psychology, and will be published in an upcoming Journal of Economic Psychology.  Researchers asked study participants who they thought would donate more money to public broadcasting: a group offered a commemorative pen in return for a donation, or a group not offered the pen. Of the respondents, 68 percent thought it would be the group offered the conditional gift. The predicted average amount was $30.89 for people receiving a gift, $22.26 for those not receiving a gift.But when two separate groups of people were asked how much they would actually be willing to give, either with a conditional gift or no gift, “results ran counter to lay beliefs and the pattern was reversed,” Psychology Today noted (with gift, $19.18; no gift, $28.60).A non-hypothetical experiment also yielded the same results. Participants were entered into a lottery for a $95 gift certificate, and asked how much of their winnings they would donate to Save the Children. Those offered a tote bag in return donated an average of $18.25, compared with $23.81 among those who weren’t offered anything.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting authorizing law as of June 2012

47 USC § 396, or U.S. Code, Title 47, Chapter 5, Subchapter III, Part IV, subpart d, § 396
This compilation of federal law was posted freely by the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School. See LII for the latest preliminary (subject to revision) and final versions. (a) Congressional declaration of policy
The Congress hereby finds and declares that—
(1) it is in the public interest to encourage the growth and development of public radio and television broadcasting, including the use of such media for instructional, educational, and cultural purposes;
(2) it is in the public interest to encourage the growth and development of nonbroadcast telecommunications technologies for the delivery of public telecommunications services;
(3) expansion and development of public telecommunications and of diversity of its programming depend on freedom, imagination, and initiative on both local and national levels;
(4) the encouragement and support of public telecommunications, while matters of importance for private and local development, are also of appropriate and important concern to the Federal Government;
(5) it furthers the general welfare to encourage public telecommunications services which will be responsive to the interests of people both in particular localities and throughout the United States, which will constitute an expression of diversity and excellence, and which will constitute a source of alternative telecommunications services for all the citizens of the Nation;
(6) it is in the public interest to encourage the development of programming that involves creative risks and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities;
(7) it is necessary and appropriate for the Federal Government to complement, assist, and support a national policy that will most effectively make public telecommunications services available to all citizens of the United States;
(8) public television and radio stations and public telecommunications services constitute valuable local community resources for utilizing electronic media to address national concerns and solve local problems through community programs and outreach programs;
(9) it is in the public interest for the Federal Government to ensure that all citizens of the United States have access to public telecommunications services through all appropriate available telecommunications distribution technologies; and
(10) a private corporation should be created to facilitate the development of public telecommunications and to afford maximum protection from extraneous interference and control. (b) Establishment of Corporation; application of District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act
There is authorized to be established a nonprofit corporation, to be known as the “Corporation for Public Broadcasting”, which will not be an agency or establishment of the United States Government. The Corporation shall be subject to the provisions of this section, and, to the extent consistent with this section, to the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act.

Lamberson takes interim spot at KOTO-FM in Telluride, Colo.

KOTO-FM (“Radio Almost Like the Professionals”), listener-supported community radio in Telluride, Colo., has hired Beth Lamberson as interim executive director, to bolster its fundraising efforts, reports the Telluride Daily Planet. She’ll be with the station for six months, through Dec. 1, replacing former Executive Director Steve Kennedy, who left in April. Lamberson has been in pubradio for 20 years, most recently as as e.d. of Four Corners Public Radio, KSUT in Ignacio, Colo. In July 2011, KOTO said it was considering accepting underwriting for the first time, after a financial pinch that included staff and salary cutbacks.

Fred Rogers goes viral with “Garden of Your Mind” video remix

An Auto-Tuned video of the late PBS icon Fred Rogers is going viral, with more than 700,000 views as of Friday (June 8) afternoon. The three-minute video was remixed by Symphony of Science’s John Boswell for PBS Digital Studios. “When we discovered video mash-up artist John D. Boswell, aka melodysheep, on YouTube,” the PBS studio said in a statement, “we immediately wanted to work together. Turns out that he is a huge Mister Rogers Neighborhood fan, and was thrilled at the chance to pay tribute to one of our heroes.” It’s the first in a series of PBS icon remixes.

“Live from Lincoln Center” creator retiring after more than 30 years

John Goberman, who created Live From Lincoln Center more than three decades ago, is departing as executive producer on June 30 after more than 200 live national telecasts.The series continues in its 37th season on PBS this fall.Goberman was cited by Symphony Magazine as one of the 50 most important individuals making a difference in American music. He pioneered the video and audio technology by which concerts, opera, ballets and plays could be telecast during live performances without disruption of performers and audiences. His television work has garnered 13 national Emmy Awards, three Peabody Awards and the first Television Critics Circle Award for Achievement in Music.Goberman also created the concept of “Symphonic Cinema,” in which orchestral scores are performed live to the films for which they were originally commissioned. After departing Lincoln Center Goberman will focus on those events, as well as staging concert galas and video presentations across the country.

“Click and Clack” announce retirement

The hosts of Car Talk, the popular pubradio show celebrating its 25th season this fall, are retiring, they announced to listeners today (June 8). Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers, actually started the show 10 years earlier at WBUR in Boston. Tom is 74 years old, Ray is 63.An NPR press release said that they will not tape new shows but their weekly call-in series will continue to be distributed from their archives of 1,200 shows beginning in October. The two will continue to write their twice-weekly “Dear Tom and Ray” column.Car Talk evolved out of what was supposed to be a call-in show with a panel of mechanics, according to a June 1995 story in Current. The WBUR volunteer/producer called the brothers to sit on the panel and Tom agreed, thinking that it would generate business for the pair’s fledgling garage.

Small and indie TV stations protesting FCC bid to end analog viewability rule

A group of more than 200 TV stations is protesting the FCC’s proposal to end the viewability rule in December 2013, reports Multichannel News.In September 2007, in anticipation of the digital transition, the FCC decided that cable operators would be required to convert digital signals to analog so must-carry channels could still be viewed by households with analog television sets. The FCC now wants to sunset that requirement, citing the availability of free or low-cost converter boxes. But Independent Voices for Local Television, representing smaller and independent TV stations, say that 12.6 million households of more than 34 million viewers don’t have any digital TV sets. “Many millions more have analog sets in their bedrooms, even if they have one digital set in the living room,” the group says on its website. “If the FCC shifts the burden to consumers, these cable viewers will lose access unless they lease new equipment.””Voices for Local TV will have to talk fast,” Multichannel News notes: The FCC’s proposed order needs to be voted on by June 12 or the rule sunsets immediately.

Vince Gardino bound for orchestra post after NY Public Radio departure in July

Vince Gardino, New York Public Radio’s executive director of underwriting, is departing the station after 14 years to become executive director of the American Classical Orchestra, which performs music from the 17th to 19th centuries using authentic period instruments. His last day with the station is June 8, and he’ll start with the orchestra July 2.For 12 years, Gardino served as chair of the PMDMC Heritage Group, a best-practices working group of corporate support leaders of major market stations. He also was lead negotiator with the Radio Research Consortium for pubradio’s Arbitron contracts, and recently was appointed as the pubradio representative on the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council.”His consistent focus and hands-on style with the clients and sales team helped propel revenue growth through both robust and challenging financial landscapes,” the station said in a statement.

George Thomas retiring from his longtime jazz show on Vermont Public Radio

The host of Vermont Public Radio’s Jazz with George Thomas is stepping away from the mic after more than 11 years. Thomas has announced he is retiring from VPR, with his final show in late June. “It has been an honor and I am grateful to have been able to share jazz with VPR’s avid, curious and astute listeners, who often suggested artists, songs and albums to play,” Thomas said. The show is heard from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern Monday through Thursday and Friday nights until midnight. Jazz music “will continue to have a presence in the VPR programming line-up, but the details have yet to be finalized,” the station said.Robin Turnau, president of VPR, wrote in a memo to staff: “As Ella Fitzgerald once said, ‘It isn’t where you came from, it’s where you’re going that counts.’ I know that we all wish George the best of luck in where he’s going, and will be cheering him on from the front row.”

Television Critics Association nominates five PBS shows for honors

PBS scored five nods in the 28th annual Television Critics Association Awards, announced Wednesday (June 6) in Los Angeles. Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey and Sherlock are going head-to-head in the movies, mini-series and specials category. Frontline was nominated in news and information; Sesame Street, in youth programming; and Downton again in program of the year. Details and a full list of nominees at Deadline.com.