Monday roundup: PBS ombud takes up purported Harper’s spat; WAMU euthanizes Animal House

Print More

• In his latest column, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler takes a comprehensive look at the recent Harper’s essay about PBS, as well as the ensuing did-PBS-pull-ads-or-didn’t-it affair that played out in coverage from various media outlets. He adds a new piece of information: Unnamed sources confirmed to him that Andrea Downing, co-president of Public Media Distribution, did not know that her marketing team had agreed to bump ads from the October Harper’s to November and December.

Getler also considers the Harper’s essay, which cast PBS as irrelevant and in thrall to an aging, centrist elite. Though it “raises some very important issues,” he finds the piece “one-sided” as well. But he agrees that “the public affairs programming, including the PBS NewsHour, could do more.”

• After a five-year run, The Animal House, a weekly nationally syndicated show from WAMU in Washington, D.C., is getting the ax, according to DCRTV. Though the show was often the most popular hour in its noon time slot in D.C., the station was unable to make it financially sustainable, according to an internal memo.

• Mark Fuerst, director of the Public Media Futures Forums, sits down with Public Radio Exchange’s Jake Shapiro for a chat about the state of public radio fundraising amid digital disruption. “[T]he question really becomes, of the younger people entering the public radio, audio world — can we bring those people into the same relationship of appreciation support that so many people have developed over the last 30 years?” Fuerst says. “And we don’t really know because we don’t actually even know what they’re doing.”

• Newsweek drops in on storytelling events staged by The Moth in London and examines the appeal of the genre. “It used to be said that stand-up comedy was the new rock ‘n’ roll,” says the magazine. “Now it seems that storytelling is the new stand-up with groups springing up all over the world.”

• A new NPR Twitter bot can help find a listener’s local NPR station. Tweet address info at Find My Station and give it a shot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *