With ‘Smartbinge,’ WNYC aims to raise national profile for digital content

In an effort to position itself as a national brand in public radio, New York’s WNYC is launching an ad campaign likening its programs’ listeners to Netflix-style binge watchers. The Smartbinge campaign will consist of targeted digital ad buys and a landing page on WNYC.org to encourage listeners from around the country to listen to substantial amounts of WNYC programming. Other elements include Twitter hashtags, geotargeted Facebook ads, paid search results and sponsored blog posts. WNYC is spending around $200,000 on the campaign, working with creative and public-relations teams Cataldi Public Relations and Eyeballs. As WNYC increases digital offerings with streams and a mobile app, it has its sights set on an audience beyond New York.

Morning roundup: SCOTUS sets Aereo date, Burns gets GIF’d

• The U.S. Supreme Court has set a date for ABC TV v. Aereo, a challenge to the startup service that allows subscribers to watch TV programs over the Internet via miniature antennae. Oral arguments are scheduled for April 21. Though ABC brought the lawsuit, filed in New York and Boston, PBS and New York’s WNET are also among the parties claiming Aereo violates copyright law. • Ken Burns participated in his first Reddit Ask Me Anything session Tuesday as part of the promotion for his new app. He laid out the planned release schedule for his next decade of films: The Roosevelts in September, A History of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies and Jackie Robinson  in 2015, Vietnam in 2016, Country Music in 2018 and Ernest Hemingway in 2019.

Alabama network will drop Public Radio International shows

Alabama Public Radio will eliminate Public Radio International shows from its schedule, dropping This American Life and The World, reports Tuscaloosanews.com. Director Elizabeth Brock said the decision was based in part on budget concerns. APR will fill the gaps left in its schedule by adding Radiolab and an additional hour of All Things Considered.

Radiolab producers don’t believe Lehrer’s contributions to be “compromised”

WNYC, the producer of public radio’s Radiolab, has found “no reason to believe” that frequent contributor Jonah Lehrer’s appearances on the show are “compromised.” Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker Sunday after Tablet magazine revealed that he had made up quotes attributed to Bob Dylan in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works. Here’s the full statement from WNYC:
Jonah Lehrer has been a regular contributor to Radiolab as an “explainer,” making technical science more accessible and bringing much needed meaning to new scientific research. He has been a lively and compelling voice and has helped make the history of science come alive for listeners. We are deeply saddened by the news this week about such a talented and valued colleague.

CPI hires four, Abumrad gets $500K MacArthur fellowship, three join FCC panel, and more…

Ellen Weiss, the NPR News chief who took the network’s blame for the Juan Williams affair, has joined the Center for Public Integrity as its executive editor as of Oct. 3, the watchdog newsroom announced. The center is headed by one of her predecessors at NPR, Bill Buzenberg. “Ellen Weiss is one of the best and most creative news executives in the business,” he said in a news release. CPI hired three other top editors, including Christine Montgomery, the center’s new chief digital officer, who was managing editor of PBS.org for two years while it expanded and then sharply reduced its online-news plans.