Science Friday producer settles with government over alleged misuse of NSF funds

A for-profit corporation involved with public radio’s weekly Science Friday show has settled with the U.S. government over alleged misuse of a National Science Foundation grant awarded from August 2009 to July 2011. In the settlement announced Tuesday by the District of Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office, ScienceFriday Inc. and Ira Flatow, ScienceFriday’s president and host of the radio show, will pay $145,541 to resolve allegations that they mishandled NSF funds. The company also agreed to exclusion from participation in federal programs, grants and contracts until Sept. 15, 2015. ScienceFriday Inc. is a for-profit corporation based in Stamford, Conn., that produced Science Friday during the time of the contested NSF funding. The show is now produced by Science Friday Initiative, a nonprofit that contracts with the for-profit corporation for Flatow’s time and the show’s branding and logos.

In Tampa, college broadcasters find advantages in pubradio affiliation

The University of South Florida’s student-run radio station has forged a three-year partnership with Tampa’s WUSF Public Media to broadcast its programming as a digital multicast FM channel. The partnership, initiated this spring by student leaders of Bulls Radio, also provides mentorship and internship opportunities for USF students with the public radio station. WUSF is a full-service pubcaster also licensed to the university. It operates two public radio stations — NPR news and talk WUSF 89.7 FM and all classical WSMR 89.1 FM — as well a public TV station with four digital multicast channels. Last month, Bulls Radio began airing on WUSF’s HD 3 channel.

Spoken-word contest gives students the stage to discuss the dropout crisis

American Graduate and Youth Speaks, a nonprofit that focuses on empowering youth through creativity, hope to include more young people in conversations about high-school dropout rates with Raise Up, a hip-hop and spoken-word contest that will culminate with a performance this month at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and a radio special. The organizations paired up this spring to encourage teens to submit original raps and poems related to the high school dropout crisis. By June 30, Raise Up had received over 750 video submissions, many filmed with webcams and smartphones. Twelve finalists were chosen for the contest’s next round. From those, five entrants will be selected to perform their poems at the Kennedy Center Sept.

Chicago’s WFMT picks up distribution of Carnegie Hall Live

PORTLAND, Ore. — Chicago’s WFMT announced Wednesday a deal with New York–based WQXR to distribute the 2014 season of Carnegie Hall Live. Entering its fourth season, Carnegie Hall Live kicks off Oct. 1 with a broadcast featuring the Berliner Philharmonker. The show is recorded and hosted by WQXR staffers in partnership with Carnegie Hall and was previously distributed by Minnesota-based American Public Media.

PRPD, Day Two: NPR, stations prepare for debut of revised newsmag clocks

PORTLAND, Ore. — This week’s Public Radio Programming Conference is giving attendees a chance to prepare for Nov. 17, the day when new clocks for NPR’s newsmagazines take effect and both stations and the network’s news staffers will need to adjust to the revised formatting. Wednesday’s proceedings featured two opportunities for discussion. At the first, NPR representatives fielded questions from station programmers, with Chris Turpin, acting senior v.p. of news, laying out changes in store.

PRPD, Day One: In keynote, Mohn issues promotion challenge

PORTLAND, Ore. — Addressing the nearly 500 attendees of the Public Radio Program Directors conference, NPR CEO Jarl Mohn reassured attendees Tuesday that he would renew the network’s focus on radio programming and challenged them to take part in a systemwide experiment to boost listening to NPR’s newsmagazines. “If we don’t get the radio part right, if we don’t get the terrestrial part right, if we don’t get broadcasting right, the rest of it isn’t going to make a difference,” Mohn told the crowd. “So you’re going to see from us, and from me, a renewed focus on the broadcasting side of the business.” Closing the conference’s first day, Mohn used his keynote speech to give thumbnail grades of public radio’s performance in areas including news, promotion, programming and positioning.

The time Joan Rivers didn’t become an NPR host

With the death of Joan Rivers, Jay Kernis, former senior v.p. for programming at NPR, shared this remembrance of Rivers on his Facebook page yesterday. It’s reproduced here with his permission. Between 2001-08, I was SVP for Programming at NPR and someone told Joan that she would be perfect to host a public radio show. I had interviewed her many years ago for NPR and I knew from producers like Amy Rosenblum just how smart Joan was. I was thrilled to be invited for lunch at her remarkable home on the East Side of NYC.