Wednesday roundup: Ashbrook takes leave; BBC offers new morning module

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• On Point host Tom Ashbrook announced today that he will take temporary leave from the show to take care of his ailing wife. “[T]oo early and to my dismay – my love is very very ill,” Ashbrook wrote. “It’s something she’s managed gracefully for years, but it’s just getting the better of her. I need to be with her. I am going to have to take a little time away to do that and to face what comes, with our family.” The host is expected to return to the show by the end of the year.

• Stations adjusting to the revised NPR newsmagazine clocks that take effect next month will have a new option for filling the bottom-of-the-hour breaks in Morning Edition. American Public Media will offer BBC Topline, a “90-second snapshot of the day’s most important developing stories.” The module debuts the same day the new clocks take effect.

• Nieman Lab takes an in-depth look at the Texas Tribune as the nonprofit wraps up its first five years of operation. The Trib has become financially sustainable, due in part to success with live events and corporate sponsorships, but it seeks to expand its audience to include a wider swath of Texans as it moves ahead. The Tribune “want[s] to add new layers to what the Tribune already produces, making the site more accessible to newcomers while also building features that let insiders dig deep into their favorite subjects,” writes Justin Ellis.

• Radio Survivor noted that the FCC has fined American International College in Springfield, Mass., for failing to maintain its public file and to file to renew its license. The station has aired programming from Connecticut Public Radio since 2011. The FCC is fining the college $13,500 and renewing its license for just four years instead of the usual eight-year term.


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