Sue Schardt of AIR extols storytelling genre

“Those of us working in public media have the potential as never before to expand and deepen understanding, tolerance, and common purpose among a broadly diverse citizenry,” writes Sue Schardt, executive director of the Association of Independents in Radio on MediaShift. How? Storytelling. “Storytelling has emerged as a safe zone that allows media practitioners to circumvent, or at least loosen up, some of the traditional boundaries that may be confining the industry during a time of great change,” she writes. “It is, in part, a way for us to flex and experiment on the edges of the often strict parameters of journalistic practice and the fixed broadcast medium that defines much of what we do — sort of like the Casual Friday versus Monday to Thursday in a workweek.”

FCC votes to begin spectrum-auction process

The five-member FCC today voted unanimously to begin the process of reclaiming broadcast spectrum to auction for wireless broadband use, reports Broadcasting & Cable. Commissioners adopted the Incentive Auction Notice of Proposed Rule-Making, and now seek comment from stakeholders and the public on its recommendation for handling the massive undertaking. The auction, to open up bandwidth for mobile devices, will happen in three phases: TV broadcasters will offer spectrum for the lowest price, the FCC will repack remaining stations into a smaller section of the spectrum, and the freed-up spectrum will go to the highest bidder. The FCC is seeking comment on issues including auction design, repacking, unlicensed use of spectrum and transition deadlines. Congress authorized the auctions in February (Current, Feb.

Radio Netherlands cancels The State We’re In

The State We’re In, an English-language public radio series produced by Radio Netherlands Worldwide in partnership with WAMU in Washington, D.C., will shut down production next month, according to its producers. The show, which relates first-person accounts of life-changing experiences, has an audience reach of 12 million people, but it fell victim to domestic austerity measures imposed by the Dutch government in 2011. When Radio Netherlands’ government funding was cut by 70 percent, The State We’re In was reported to be one of the few programs to survive the transition. “We were assured at that time by Radio Netherlands’ outgoing management that the show was still going to be an integral part of Radio Netherlands, but those assurances didn’t hold,” Greg Kelly, the program’s editor, wrote in an announcement posted Sept. 28 on the show’s website.

Car Talk was still #1 among NPR weekend shows in spring 2012

A new report from Walrus Research shows that NPR’s Car Talk continued its streak as NPR’s most popular weekend program in Spring 2012, with Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! coming in second and Weekend Edition Saturday a more distant third. The report says airing the three shows in sequence is the “ideal scheduling to benefit all three programs.” Car Talk goes into repeats starting next month.

Backyard Farmer celebrates 60 years on the air

Nebraska Educational Television’s Backyard Farmer — the longest-running local television program in the country — is celebrating its 60th season with a special, Backyard Farmer: 60 Years and Still Growing, and an event tonight on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. For the 60th anniversary special, producers went into the archives of the live call-in program, pulling interviews with panel members who tackled questions such as, “How fresh can manure be before you use it in your garden?” Panelists will be on hand at tonight’s event to answer questions, and NET will screen a blooper reel. The program airs Thursdays on NET during the growing season, mid-April through mid-September. Each show is also available on iTunes as a video podcast after the broadcast. It’s a co-production of NET Television and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

AAPRC offering two jazz shows for national broadcast

Two African-American Public Radio Consortium stations at historically black colleges and universities are offering jazz programs for national broadcast. Return to the Source with Douglas Turner is a traditional-jazz offering from WJAB-FM at Alabama A&M University, and The Soul of Jazz with Jamal Ahmad from WCLK at Clark Atlanta University combines classic and contemporary soul, jazz and world music. Each runs two hours weekly, and is available on Content Depot.

One Cahill concern during Senate CPB confirmation hearing: Tattoos

In an interview with the Kansas City Star, new CPB Chair and longtime KCUR radio pubcaster Patty Cahill recalls her 2009 Senate confirmation hearing for her appointment to the CPB Board. “I remember thinking, ‘How am I going to sit?’” she tells the newspaper. “Because I’m short and usually my feet don’t touch the ground and I sit on my leg. And I had been at KCUR so long, it seemed like getting a tattoo was a good idea, so I got one on my wrist. And it’s addicting, so whenever one of my daughters would get a tattoo I would go and get one.

Schiedel, g.m. of KRSC-TV, to head Oklahoma network

Veteran public broadcaster Daniel Schiedel will be the new executive director of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, the OETA Board of Directors announced today. Schiedel has more than 21 years experience in public broadcasting. Currently he is general manager of KRSC-TV in Claremore, Okla. He previously served as g.m. of Wyoming Public Television Network, and has worked at pubTV stations in Missouri and South Dakota. Schiedel replaces John McCarroll, who served as OETA executive director for nine years and will retire Sept.