WBUR microsite explores Mass. drug lab crisis

In late May, WBUR published “Bad Chemistry: Annie Dookhan and the Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis,” an online report on a former state chemist charged with falsifying drug test results for at least 34,000 legal cases.

Chris Lydon returns to Boston airwaves as WGBH-FM contributor

Former radio host Christopher Lydon will return to the Boston airwaves as a weekly contributor to Boston Public Radio, a daily local news/talk show on WGBH-FM. Lydon will appear on the show Thursdays to discuss current events with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, who debuted as hosts Monday. The duo formerly hosted a show on commercial talk station WTKK in Boston, which switched format last month. WGBH also announced that Emily Rooney, host of Greater Boston on WGBH’s TV channel, will be Friday’s featured guest. Rooney previously served as a Boston Public Radio co-host.

Click and Clack are checking out but will keep chortling in repeats

NPR announced June 8 that Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of the popular and long-running Car Talk, will lay down their wrenches and stop recording new episodes as of October. The show will continue, however, with producers repackaging calls mined from Car Talk’s 25-years-deep archive.

Former WGBH broadcast engineer Vern Coleman dies

Vern Coleman, 86, who worked 14 years as an audio engineer at WGBH working on such shows as The French Chef, The Boston Pops and Evening at Symphony, died March 18 at his home in Marstons Mills, Mass., after a long battle with leukemia. He was nominated for a primetime Emmy Award for best live sound in 1976, for his work on New Year’s Eve at Pops; he attended the Emmy ceremonies in Hollywood but lost to the soundman for Johnny Carson. Coleman also worked  as a contract engineer for WBUR in Boston, among other stations, and as a staff engineer of commercial WCVB. The lifelong resident of Cape Cod was born in Hyannis to local artist and educator Vernon H. Coleman and Ruby E. Coleman. He began his broadcast career in 1943, a year before he graduated from Barnstable High School, at Cape Cod’s only radio station, WOCB in West Yarmouth.

Congress reacts hotly to station donor-list swaps with Democrats

Suddenly, pubcasting is in for a severe talking-to, if not a whupping. The House subcommittee that held such a congenial hearing on CPB’s long-overdue reauthorization a fortnight earlier is now preparing a second hearing July 20 to take pubcasters to task for swapping donor mailing lists with the Democratic Party. House Republicans were angry last week when they learned that Boston’s WGBH did it this spring, and angrier when they heard there were other times. And tempers will rise as similar reports come in from other stations. WNET in New York and WETA in Washington told reporters late last week that they’ve traded lists with both Democratic and Republican groups.

Consultants advise spending shift to strengthen national PTV programs

[The Boston Consulting Group study for CPB] … gave public broadcasters an unfamiliar profit/loss sketch of their major functions. Local program production, which the report calls PTV’s largest single activity, takes 35 percent of its spending but brings in 16 percent of its revenue and accounts for 7 percent of its air time