WNYC shares previously unreleased recordings of Martin Luther King Jr. interviews

New York’s WNYC has released for the first time recordings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. interviewed on several occasions in the 1960s by Eleanor Fischer, a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reporter who later worked for NPR. The interviews capture King discussing a wide range of subjects, including his childhood, his adoption of nonviolent resistance tactics, and the Montgomery bus boycott. The recordings were among tapes given to WNYC’s archive in 2008 after Fischer passed away. “We are a rich archive in content but not a huge staff of people and we have received many collections,” wrote Archive Director Andy Lanset in an email to Current.

CPB will seek operator to develop American Archive; director leaves project

Having lost its digital projects fund last year, CPB lacks the money to develop the American Archive much further, according to Mark Erstling, senior v.p. The next step is to find an outside institution to adopt and support creation of the proposed archive of public stations’ historic audio, video and films.

That helps explain why professional archivist Matthew White left CPB Jan. 13 after two years as executive director. “It was very clear to him that things were going to change significantly,” Erstling says, and White accepted an offer to lead a “significant” archiving project abroad. White could not be reached for comment. CPB declined Current’s multiple requests for interviews with White over the previous two years.

Fans’ demand prompts revival of sci-fi classic

WNET, dastardly villain in a two-decade scheme to deprive science-fiction buffs of the coolest public TV program of all time, this summer will redeem its reputation among fans. “The Lathe of Heaven,” digitally remastered and repackaged with additional material, will be distributed to public TV stations for broadcast in June [2000]. A home video and DVD will be released in the fall. Originally broadcast on PBS in 1980, the drama inspired a cult following that never forgot the show, and never let WNET forget it, either. Fans of the program came together in an “extensive Internet community” to rage against the producing station’s “ruthless warehousing” of their favorite public TV show, and one site accused WNET of “corporate amnesia,” recalls Joseph Basile, director of program rights and clearances.