Thursday roundup: Expansions for NJTV, PBS SoCal; Melody Kramer on Serial

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• PBS SoCal plans to open an office in the Century City district of Los Angeles, reports the Los Angeles Times. The office at 10100 Santa Monica Blvd. will be the pubcaster’s third location, joining its Orange County and downtown L.A. digs. PBS SoCal will use the new office “to target fundraising, education and program creation on the Westside” of the city, according to the paper.

• Meanwhile, in New Jersey, NJTV has received a $2 million donation to build a new main studio in downtown Newark. The major gift, announced Wednesday, is from the Agnes Varis Charitable Trust. The Agnes Varis NJTV Studio will contain the network’s news division and set for the weeknight newscast NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams. It will also house office space and a community room for hosting public events and program productions. The studio is expected to open in spring 2015. NJTV is operated by WNET in New York.

• It’s Serial day, and even if you haven’t listened to today’s new episode of the much-hyped podcast, you can still read Melody Kramer’s post about how Serial has helped to encourage so much rabid discussion and analysis of the show in social media: by not having comments on its own website. “This is, I’m assuming, by design — because it forces anyone who wants to talk about Serial to do so on social media,” writes NPR’s Kramer. “Which means more people find out about Serial, which then gets a much bigger audience because anyone new who encounters Serial must Go back and start with Episode 1.”

It’s fun to check out tweets about Serial and see how excited people are about it.

• Bill Keller, former New York Times executive editor and now editor-in-chief at the Marshall Project, tells the New York Observer that he’s somewhat mellower than his successor at the times, Dean Baquet, who has said he’s punched the occasional hole in the occasional wall. “I’ve never punched a hole in the wall,” Keller says. “I’m famously Zen. I mean I compartmentalize well — or so I was told once by a shrink.”

An earlier version of this post said that NJTV is owned by WNET in New York. WNET operates NJTV.

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