Reber leaves NPR; Arganbright, Appleby launch firm; and more…

CIR has hired ex-NPR investigative news head Susanne Reber. As senior coordinating editor for multiplatform projects and investigations for the nonprofit newsroom, Reber will lead national and international investigative and enterprise reporting projects, and guide the center’s team of health and environment reporters. Reber joined NPR in January 2010 to build and lead the network’s first investigative unit as deputy managing editor of investigations. She left NPR this month, according to a May 8 memo by NPR News chief Margaret Low Smith that was published on the Poynter Institute website. Smith put Senior National Editor Steve Drummond in charge of investigations while NPR determines “next steps for the unit’s leadership,” she wrote in the memo.

Panel gets more specific about new services

A well-connected panel of business leaders, broadcasters and policy wonks last week got specific about what public broadcasting could do in the future to use its digital signals for the greatest public benefit—and to justify the increased funding that would make it possible. ¶ The Digital Future Initiative panel, convened by PBS President Pat Mitchell a year ago, released its report Dec. 15…

Let’s not do it: PTV Weekend is a bad idea

A debate on the proposed PTV Weekend experiment for two-nights-a-week advertising on public TV
Against the plan, below: Fred Esplin, general manager of KUED in Salt Lake City. For the plan: Mike Hardgrove, president of public TV station KETC in St. Louis. If we take up Larry Grossman’s proposal for PTV Weekend, we will do to ourselves what Newt Gingrich tried but failed to do: commercialize public television. This is a bad idea that won’t work — and shouldn’t.

PTV Weekend: Notes on Questions, Concerns, Strengths and Benefits

James Fellows, long active in public TV’s national leadership and founder of Current, analyzed the PTV Weekend proposal, when it was published in June 1997, on behalf of the Hartford Gunn Institute, a fledgling organization he was trying to launch as a planning agency for the public TV system. See also the PTV Weekend proposal and Current’s coverage of it. The Hartford Gunn Institute is an independent entity that is interested in analyzing and encouraging promising opportunities in public broadcasting and telecommunications. It has no organizational or financial interest in the outcome of the research work which it undertakes. At the request of Lawrence K. Grossman, former President of the Public Broadcasting Service, The Hartford Gunn Institute was commissioned to explore with key leaders in public television their questions and concerns concerning the strengths and benefits of what has come to be called PTV WEEKEND.