Homicide Watch, a crowdfunded community reporting site that tracks city murder victims, will launch its third site in Chicago by the end of the month through a partnership with the Chicago Sun-Times, reports the New York Times. The startup is the brainchild of Laura and Chris Amico, who manage the site’s flagship Washington, D.C., edition. They’ve kept the site — which they started in September 2010 and most recently relaunched in August 2011 — running with help from crowdfunding campaigns on platforms like Kickstarter and Spot.us. Despite financial struggles, including their inability to find a local news organization to partner with, the Amicos have reaped many journalistic accolades for their data-driven reporting, including the 2012 Knight Public Service Award from the Online News Association. A second branch of Homicide Watch operates in Trenton, N.J., in partnership with The Trentonian.
Two commercial radio stations in Chicago have picked up the weekly Smiley & West show after it was dropped from WBEZ, the city’s public radio news outlet. WCPT, a progressive talk station, began airing the show Sunday, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. and will add it to its three FM stations starting in January. It also picked up The Tavis Smiley Show for its weekend lineup. WVON-AM, which targets an African-American audience, will debut Smiley & West Saturday at 11 a.m.
WBEZ canceled the show hosted by author and broadcast host Tavis Smiley and activist and critic Cornel West last month, citing a drop in audience.
Carole Nolan, who founded WBEZ-FM in Chicago at a time when few women held top management jobs in public broadcasting, died July 5 of complications from muscular sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. She was 80. In 1971, as director of telecommunications and broadcasting for the Chicago Public Schools, Nolan asked to take over management of the Chicago Board of Education’s radio station. “She began a complete overhaul that reinvented WBEZ,” said former WBEZ spokesperson Merillee Clark Redmond in the Chicago Tribune. “She took great risks and was creative as she hired staff who would develop new programming and yet not neglect the Board of Education’s desire for educational programs.”
Nolan secured $100,000 for a new transmitter and antenna, and aid from CPB.
Bill McCarter, who headed Chicago’s WTTW for 27 years before retiring in 1998, died of complications from cancer April 21. He was 81. Newton Minow, a former FCC chair and WTTW trustee, recruited McCarter from WETA in Washington, D.C., to run WTTW in 1972. “I have a very high opinion and respect for Bill,” Minow once said. “He is everything you could want in a person, a broadcaster and leader.
WTTW and PBS say they’re baffled by the FCC’s proposal to fine the Chicago station $5,000 for airing four underwriting spots, including one that aired nationally on Wall Street Week. The commission sent a “notice of apparent liability” to WTTW [text of notice] earlier this month, saying that spots aired in November 1996 for Zenith, Amoco, Prudential Securities and Sun America insurance violate FCC rules against advertisements for for-profit companies. Under the rules, public broadcasters can air credits for corporate underwriting but only for the purpose of identifying backers. The credits are not supposed to promote their businesses. Specifically off-limits are comparative and qualitative descriptions, price information, calls to action and inducements to buy.
In 1997, the FCC fined Chicago public TV station WTTW for violating commission standards for underwriting credits (Current coverage). More than two years later, the commission found that three of the four contested credits were permissible, and reduced the fine (text of March 2000 order). Federal Communications Commission Washington, D.C. 20554
In reply refer to: 1800C1-KMS 97040529
December 2, 1997
Released: December 3, 1997
CERTIFIED MAIL — RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
Window to the World Communications, Inc.
Licensee, Station WTTW(TV)
5400 North St. Louis Ave. Chicago, IL 60625
This letter constitutes a NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Act”), for violations of 47 U.S.C. Section 399B and Section 73.621(e) of the Commission’s Rules.