Monday roundup: TAL squelches PRX rumors; NPR Books boosts New Directions sales

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This American Life has yet to decide on a new distributor, contrary to Chicago media writer Bob Feder’s report over the weekend that the show would go to Public Radio Exchange. Feder posted a correction today with a statement from TAL host Ira Glass. TAL hasn’t even started negotiations, Glass said. “We’re about to begin a round of talking to possible distributors,” Glass told Feder. “There’s also the option of self-distribution, which is attractive.” Public Radio International announced March 20 that it would no longer distribute the show as of July 1. PRI has distributed the program for 17 years.

Guest Cat cover• Soon after NPR Books critic Juan Vidal called the novel The Guest Cat “a small treasure,” its publisher scored its first New York Times bestseller ever — pretty impressive, considering New Directions has been around since 1936. “His rave review is a testament to the power of social media,” Michael Barron, publicity director for New Directions, told the New York Times. “It was posted by NPR Books, and then reposted by the main NPR site, which has over a million followers. It got thousands of likes on Facebook, and was heavily retweeted. That same day it was picked up by NPR, we watched as The Guest Cat climbed up and up the Amazon sales list to the top 20 sellers.” Call it the NPR Bump.

• PBS is replacing its PBS Connect member-station online hub with myPBS April 10. One perk: The new site offers “a near real-time schedule viewer that will allow stations who use ProTrack as their traffic system to see changes to the PBS feed schedule about 34 hours sooner than is currently possible.”

• POV is hosting a Twitter chat April 1 on how documentary makers can better balance production with a 9-to-5 paying job. Frazzled filmmakers can RSVP on Facebook and use the #docchat hashtag from 7-8 p.m. Eastern time. POV will also archive the online discussion.

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