Philanthropists in California and New York contributed separate gifts of $1 million to two public TV shows last month. With her six-figure contribution to the Masterpiece Trust, Darlene Shiley of San Diego made the largest gift to date to the fund, established in January 2011. Shiley, one of the first donors to the trust, made a gift of $250,000 last year. Her $1 million contribution was made on behalf of her and her late husband Donald and will be split with KPBS in San Diego. The Masterpiece Trust allows major donors to directly support the Masterpiece strand of British drama programs on PBS while designating part of the gift to their local station.
WTCI plans to launch a new multicast channel of local programming with seed funding from the city of Chattanooga. The Voyager channel will carry live coverage of civic events, such as city-council meetings throughout the region and issue-focused town hall events. It will also feature a new weekly series on arts and culture. Local documentaries and WTCI’s own five weekly series would also get additional plays on the channel. Content will be accessible across multiple platforms and promoted via social media.
Two public broadcasters active in southern California during the 1960s and 1970s, James Lee Mathes and Fred Burgess, retired to Kansas together in the 1980s. They died within seven months in 2007. James Lee Mathes
James Lee Mathes, 73, a pioneer in public TV at KCET and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, died March 27  in his home state, Kansas. He had pancreatic cancer. Mathes worked on such KCET projects as Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series and an eight-nation simulcast, as well as fundraising and general administration.
Margaret Spellings, secretary of education in George W. Bush’s administration, complained to PBS in 2005 about an episode of the animated Postcards from Buster children’s series with funding from her department. In the episode, Buster visits a Vermont family that has two moms. See also Current story. January 25, 2005
Ms. Pat Mitchell
President and Chief Executive Officer
Public Broadcasting Service
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Dear Ms. Mitchell:
The Department of Education has strong and very serious concerns about a specific Ready-To-Learn television episode, yet to be aired, that has been developed under a cooperative agreement between the Department and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The episode — “Sugartime!” — is part of the “Postcards from Buster” series, and would feature throughout the show families headed by gay couples. As you know, the cooperative agreement that PBS is using to support these programs is designed to prepare preschool and elementary age children for school.
For the faculty of Wake Forest University, the hush order given to reporters at the university’s WFDD-FM last September came too close for comfort.”I’ve never seen anything rile the faculty on this campus like this did, and I’ve been here 11 years,” says law professor Ronald Wright. “A lot of faculty members identified with those reporters. We’re both in the business of telling the truth.” “What has occurred on our campus violated certain ‘givens’ about what a university should be: a place where freedom of thought and expression thrive,” said this month’s report by an ad hoc committee appointed by the faculty senate. The defense of free speech on the campus in Winston-Salem, N.C., has whipped up antagonisms, uprooted most of WFDD’s news staff, and required lots of long, tense meetings, but the issues may be nearing resolution.
Five months after the conflict developed between Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and its public radio station, WFDD, the faculty’s Senate Ad Hoc Committee on WFDD released this report Feb. 2, 2000. See also coverage in Current and case study on the conflict in the Public Radio News Directors Guide. Events Triggering This Inquiry
Proposed Guidelines on Confidentiality Policy
The Public Trust and Internal Management at WFDD
The Committee’s Process
Memo from university Vice President Sandra Boyette to university Counsel Leon Corbett
Separate statement by member Michael Curtis
Report to the University Senate on the WFDD Matter
In October 1999, the President of the University Senate appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on WFDD. She asked the committee to inquire into events at public radio station WFDD during September 1999 and to report to the University Senate with proposals for avoiding such events in the future.
International stardom has not been easy for Tinky Winky, the Teletubby recently “outed” by the Rev. Jerry Falwell as a gay role-model for children. First there was a big flap in England, shortly after the show’s 1997 debut, over the dismissal of the actor playing Tinky Winky. Producers said he had been too rambunctious on the set. But the actor apparently endeared himself to viewers by flamboyantly waving the now-notorious red handbag, and did not go quietly. The Sun, Britain’s largest tabloid, launched a campaign to reinstate the actor, but to no avail.
You may have recently reacquainted yourself with this classic public TV mini-series. The American Program Service and 20 stations have brought it back for a third set of broadcasts this year, after a few runs on Bravo. Here, David Stewart reminds us of the quality, scope and impact of the production when it premiered in this country 14 years ago. On Monday evening, Jan. 18, 1982, the 11-part, 13-hour television series Brideshead Revisited broke over the PBS audience with the suddenness of a storm.