NJTV will air new six-part American Songbook series this fall

New Jersey Television and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) of Newark are partnering on a new six-part cabaret music television series, American Songbook at NJPAC, to debut on NJTV and WNET this fall. The series will be produced from two live performance sessions at the center to be taped in June. Performers include Tom Wopat, Valerie Simpson, Rebecca Luker and Maude Maggart, and the duos Sandy Stewart and Bill Charlap and Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley. Each will perform 40-minute sets and sit for a Q&A session. NJPAC will donate proceeds of ticket sales to the Actors Fund, which assists professionals in performing arts and entertainment.

APTS recognizes Barbara Mikulksi and Greg Walden, gives innovation and advocacy awards

The Association of Public Television Stations handed out Champions of Public Broadcasting awards during its Public Media Summit in Washington, D.C., Feb 24–26, recognizing Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) and Oregon Rep. Greg Walden (R). APTS also gave EDGE Awards to Twin Cities Public Television and New Jersey’s NJTV and recognized individuals with Advocacy Awards. Mikulski, who replaced recently deceased Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has been an ardent defender of public broadcasting in the Senate and was a vocal defender of the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program before it was eliminated in 2011. As chair of the House Energy Subcommittee on Communications and the Internet, Walden has helped secure federal aid for public broadcasters to help defer costs related to spectrum legislation. As he accepted his award, he told summit attendees that increased competition from cable and digital channels has made public TV less relevant to television viewers, and he suggested that public broadcasters support cuts to government-entitlement programs in order to salvage their own funding.