TJ Lubinsky secures rights to famed Motown 25 special for public TV pledge

Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, the famous 1983 special on which Michael Jackson debuted his signature moonwalk and Smokey Robinson reunited with the Miracles, is coming to public television via pledge producer and doo-wop showman TJ Lubinsky. The two-hour program has not aired since its initial broadcast on NBC due to complex rights issues, Lubinsky said. He negotiated a two-year exclusive contract for public television stations to run the entire show. The list of performers is a who’s who from Motown, the famous Detroit-based record label: Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, the Supremes, the Jackson 5, the Temptations, the Four Tops and more. Hosting is comedian Richard Pryor, then at the height of his career.

StoryCorps founder David Isay wins 2015 TED Prize

StoryCorps founder David Isay has won the 2015 TED Prize, which gives him $1 million to fulfill a “wish” of his choice. Isay will present his wish March 17 at the 2015 TED conference in Vancouver, Canada. Past winners include Bono, who devoted his prize to fighting poverty in Africa; Bill Clinton, who aided health access initiatives in Rwanda; and chef Jamie Oliver, who used his funds for his Food Revolution program combating diet-related diseases. TED Curator Chris Anderson said, “On the tenth anniversary of the TED prize, it seems fitting that TED — an organization whose central mission is to spread ideas and empower storytellers — is honoring a storytelling pioneer.”

Launched in 2003, StoryCorps has collected more than 50,000 interviews from about 100,000 Americans. For each interview, two people with a close connection — family members, friends, work colleagues — go into a room with a mediator and record a 40-minute conversation.

NPR’s Mohn bolsters Morning Edition promotion challenge with prize

LAS VEGAS — Addressing station executives here Wednesday, NPR CEO Jarl Mohn offered a free year of Morning Edition as the grand prize for the winner of his “Spark Project,” a campaign to boost the newsmagazine’s audience. Mohn delivered a keynote speech at the annual Public Radio Super-Regional Meeting, held this year at Caesar’s Palace. In his speech, he called on the crowd of mostly general managers and station executives to move out of their comfort zones and unite in a push to cross-promote Morning Edition. The CEO is asking public radio stations to air 100 promotions a week from Jan. 14 to June 15, 2015, highlighting local and national stories airing within the newsmagazine.