In times of crisis, FM chips in smartphones will better serve public

Disasters strike every year in every corner of America. Hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, ice storms in the Midwest and Plains states, wildfires in the west and arid states of the southwest, tornados through our nation’s heartlands and flooding along the Mississippi and elsewhere. And horrific acts of terrorism like the Boston Marathon, the Oklahoma City federal building bombings and the attacks on September 11th are all too familiar reminders of just how important information is during and after these events. During every hurricane, tornado, flood and wildfire, local public radio stations play an essential role in conveying information about response efforts, local relief supplies, evacuation orders, emergency routes, and where to find food, shelter and fuel, as well as on-the-ground, at-the-scene reporting to help affected communities understand and respond. Because of public radio’s role as a trusted media and information resource and an essential public-safety asset, we hope all stations will join us in calling upon the mobile phone industry to install and activate FM chips in all cellphones and smartphones.

Western stations ask for new election to fill McTaggart’s seat on NPR Board

When a candidate wins re-election but withdraws from service before taking office, does the electorate get another chance to vote? Given the irregular turnover after NPR Board elections this summer, station leaders in Western States Public Radio think so. After American Public Media President Jon McTaggart won re-election to a three-year term and resigned before taking the director’s seat, WSPR objected to the NPR Board’s decision to appoint a replacement rather than hold a new election. The resolution said its complaint involved procedure, not McTaggart or the board’s selection to succeed him, Marita Rivero, g.m. of television and radio at Boston’s WGBH. Managers attending the regional association’s meeting, Nov.

APM chief McTaggart, seen as competitor, leaves NPR Board

American Public Media’s president, Jon McTaggart, won re-election to the NPR Board this summer but won’t be taking the seat after all. McTaggart resigned from the board at NPR’s request after an outside legal analysis determined that his promotion to president of APM and Minnesota Public Radio presented a potential conflict of interest with his service on the NPR Board. Since his first election to the board three years ago, McTaggart had been promoted from chief operating officer to chief exec of American Public Media Group, the parent company of APM/MPR. That put him uniquely and simultaneously on the boards of the two largest producers and distributors of public radio programming. Marita Rivero, v.p. and g.m. of WGBH’s television and radio stations, will fill the NPR Board vacancy instead.