FCC will allow low-power FMs in urban markets, accept applications in October 2013

The FCC adopted new rules today regarding low-power FM stations, paving the way to accept a wave of applications for new LPFMs in October 2013. Under the rules, the FCC will allow LPFMs on second-adjacent frequencies to full-power FM stations if the low-power applicant provides evidence that the new station will not cause interference. These second-adjacency waivers will allow for more low-power stations in big cities where the FM band is more crowded. Other provisions of the Report and Order adopted today include:

A modified point system that will give an edge to Native applicants and to LPFMs with a staffed main studio and local programming;
Permission of cross-ownership of an LPFM station and up to two translator stations;
And an allowance for tribal nations to operate more than one LPFM. The Prometheus Radio Project, which advocates for low-power radio, estimates that the number of LPFMs in America could double or triple after the next filing window.

Former Education Department adviser joining WNET as vice president

WNET in New York City has hired Carole Wacey, a former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Department of Education, as vice president, education, effective Dec. 17. Wacey spent the past decade as executive director of MOUSE, a national nonprofit that uses educational technology to help empower underserved youth, and she will continue to serve on its board of directors. Prior to MOUSE, Wacey was director of the Interactive Media for Children program at the Markle Foundation in New York City, and before that was deputy director of the Office of Education Technology and senior policy adviser at the Department of Education during the Clinton Administration, consulting on development and implementation of national educational technology policy.

California’s Gold producer Huell Howser retiring

Huell Howser, the California pubcaster whose popular destination shows ran on stations throughout the state for two decades, is no longer producing new programs, reports the Los Angeles Times. Because there’s been no formal announcement, rumors have been swirling that Howser may be ill. “Huell is retiring from filming new shows or making appearances (or interviews) but the show will continue to air in reruns for awhile,” Howser’s assistant Ryan Morris told the newspaper. “We have been gradually winding down all year but Huell has decided to stop, come Dec. 31.”

Wendell Garrett dies at 83; Roadshow appraiser since 1997

This item has been updated and reposted with additional information. Wendell Garrett, an appraiser on Antiques Roadshowsince 1997, died Nov. 14 at a hospice facility in Williston, Vt. He was 83. “Garrett was an important member of Antiques Roadshow’s appraisal team,” the program said in a statement, “displaying a generosity of spirit and intellect over the years to the Roadshow community and viewers.

Appropriations by Congress to CPB / Curve, 1969-2001

Opponents of aid to public broadcasting created plateaus in CPB spending in early 1980s and again in 1990s. But the general upward swing of this chart doesn’t mean more spending power. After adjusting for inflation, FY2000’s $300 million is worth 5 percent less than the FY90 figure of $229.4 million. Figures are rising again since failure of the zero-it-out movement: $300M for FY2000 and $340M for FY2001. CPB’s first appropriation in FY68 was just $5M, but from there the sum often rose by $10M or $20M a year.

Third Clash accuser surfaces, files lawsuit demanding $75,000

A third accuser is alleging that Kevin Clash, the former puppeteer of Elmo the Muppet, had an improper sexual relationship with him while he was underage. The anonymous accuser, a Florida resident, seeks $75,000 in damages in a lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Clash resigned Nov. 20 from Sesame Street after two men came forward with similar complaints.

WBUR entering Cape Cod market with purchase of WMVY

Boston NPR news station 90.9 WBUR-FM is wading into the Cape Cod resort market and going toe-to-toe with WGBH’s network of stations with its planned purchase of 92.7 WMVY-FM on Martha’s Vineyard. WBUR is buying the Tisbury, Mass.-based station for an undisclosed amount from Housatonic, Mass.-based Aritaur Communications Inc. The sale is expected to close in early 2013 pending FCC approval. Now broadcasting an adult alternative format, WMVY, known as mvyradio, will switch to WBUR’s news format, reaching up to 60,000 listeners with a 3,000-watt signal. The market includes Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and coastal towns including New Bedford, Fall River, Falmouth and Westport. “We believe that the islands, Cape Cod and SouthCoast are important parts of the community we cover and serve,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz, in a statement.

Public media recipients among new NEA grants for $23.3 million

The National Endowment for the Arts today announced recommendations for 832 grants totaling $23.3 million through Art Works, its largest funding initiative. The 13 categories include Media Arts, encompassing 47 grants to filmmakers and film festivals. Several of those organizations have ties to public media, including the Center for Asian American Media in San Francisco, under the direction of Stephen Gong, which got $40,000 toward the 31st San Francisco Asian American Film Festival; Firelight Media in New York City (Freedom Riders), $50,000 to support a mentorship and professional development program; and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Santa Monica, Calif., which supported The Longoria Affair and other films, $20,000 to convene “Doing Your Doc: Diverse Visions, Regional Voices,” a series of regional conferences for emerging filmmakers. A full list of Media Arts grantees is here. Los Angeles public television station KCET also will receive  $25,000 for Departures, a hyper-local web documentary series and digital literacy program about the people, places, issues and history of  the city’s neighborhoods.

Incoming host of Live from Lincoln Center is also frequent performer there

Actress and soprano Audra McDonald, winner of five Tony Awards and two Grammys, is the new host of Live from Lincoln Center. McDonald will appear on seven broadcasts from December 2012 through spring 2013, including the New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve gala, One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch. The WNET icon performance series has not had a regular host since opera legend Beverly Sills, who died in 2007. “Audra’s Lincoln Center roots run deep and wide,” said Elizabeth Scott, executive in charge of the series, in the announcement. “She’s performed on every major Lincoln Center stage.”

Dust Bowl from Ken Burns scores well for PBS ratings

Filmmaker Ken Burns’ latest documentary, The Dust Bowl, more than doubled PBS’s average primetime rating during its premiere last week, according to PBS and Nielsen. For Nov. 19, the program’s household average rating was 4.3, with some 6.6 million viewers. Its conclusion the next night scored a 3.5, with around 5.2 million people watching. PBS’s nightly primetime average is around 2.1 million viewers.

Former Frontline producer now president of Nat Geo TV

Brooke Runnette, who spent a year as a producer at Frontline, is the new president of National Geographic Television. Runnette worked at WGBH’s icon investigative news program from 1999 to 2000. From there she became a producer at ABC News Nightline, executive producer at TLC/Discovery Communications (Little People, Big World) and, most recently, executive producer and director of development at Discovery Channel — where she oversaw the popular “Shark Week” strand for four years. She  joined National Geographic Channels as a vice president of development and special projects earlier this month. In her new role, she will oversee the production arm of National Geographic, reporting directly to John Fahey, National Geographic Society chair and c.e.o.

Tangled Bank Studios, new doc house, opens as part of Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a nonprofit research and philanthropic organization based in Chevy Chase, Md., is getting into the documentary arena. It announced today the launch of its own Tangled Bank Studios, a film and production company that is already at work “in close collaboration with PBS” on two science documentaries, it said in a statement. Heading the new company is Executive Producer Michael Rosenfeld, a former president of National Geographic Television. The docs under way are the three-part Your Inner Fish, produced in collaboration with the U.K. production company Windfall Films, a science adventure tale about how the lives of our ancient ancestors shaped modern human anatomy; and The Quest to Map the World, also a three-part series, produced with National Geographic Television, telling the story of how scientists and explorers mapped the planet. Off the Fence, an independent distribution company based in Amsterdam, will distribute the films internationally as part of an exclusive deal to license, sell and raise co-production financing for Tangled Bank Studios’ projects.

Clash exit from Sesame Street affects more than Elmo

The departure of Kevin Clash, the Elmo puppeteer who resigned from Sesame Street last week, is leaving a large void in the close-knit Sesame Workshop community, reports the New York Times. Clash, who left after allegations of sexual impropriety surfaced, played more roles than the furry red Elmo. He also worked with writers on technical problems, he directed, was a co-executive producer and the puppeteer behind many other characters. He also traveled internationally to train puppeteers for Sesame Street productions in other countries. Production of the show is on a pre-planned two-week hiatus.

Emily Squires dies at 71, won six Emmys for directing Sesame Street

This item has been updated and reposted with additional information. Emily Squires, who won six Daytime Emmy Awards for directing episodes of Sesame Street, died Nov. 21 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She was 71. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Squires directed more than two dozen Sesame episodes, beginning in 1982.

NPR Underwriting Credit Guidelines, 2012

Retrieved from NPR.org Nov. 25, 2012
Underwriting credits acknowledge organizations which fund public radio programming. Federal law mandates this identification and further allows for the non promotional description of the sponsors products and services. The following guidelines assist NPR and its underwriters in developing credit language that complies with FCC and IRS regulations for non-commercial broadcasters.NPR underwriting credits must contain:
The legal name of the underwriter, to be read immediately after the standard opening phrase, “Support for NPR comes from NPR member stations and…
Credits may also include the following:
Non-promotional, value-neutral, descriptions of organization, products and services. Names of operating divisions and subsidiaries.

ITV commissions Season 4 of Downton Abbey

Britain’s ITV is commissioning a fourth season of Downton Abbey, it announced on Friday. Filming of the eight new episodes begins at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios in February 2013. The costume drama now runs in some 200 countries, according to ITV. “Downton has a whole life beyond the episodes themselves,” said Gareth Neame, managing director of Carnival Films, the show’s producer, in the announcement. “It has leapt out of the television set and become part of both the national and global conversation.

Court will reconsider issue of political ads on noncoms in March 2013

An 11-judge federal appeals court panel in San Francisco will reconsider a ruling that would allow public TV and radio stations to air political ads, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. A three-member panel had ruled in April that a 1981 law banning noncom stations from running the ads violated freedom of speech. On Wednesday, the full court said a majority of its judges agreed to grant the federal government’s request for a rehearing, which is scheduled for March.

Northeast gets several new pubradio stations

The number of pubradio stations in the northeastern U.S. has grown in recent weeks with the addition of new stations with signals reaching listeners in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Vermont Public Radio has expanded service in southeastern Vermont and elsewhere with a new full-power station, 88.9 FM WVBA, an 8,800-watt NPR news station in Brattleboro. VPR also moved a translator station in Brattleboro from 94.5 FM to 94.3 FM, boosting its signal from 10 watts to 190 watts and bringing its VPR Classical service to the community. In New York’s lower Hudson Valley area, Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson has launched a new pubradio signal, 88.1 FM WLHV. The 910-watt station received its authorization from the FCC Nov.