Science Friday suing creationist preacher for trademark violation

The company behind NPR’s Science Friday show is suing a Colorado preacher and radio host for trademark infringement and cybersquatting with his radio show that debunks evolution, Real Science Friday. The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of New York  by Manhattan-based Sciencefriday Inc., the company behind the weekly program heard on more than 300 NPR stations. The complaint names Real Science Friday co-hosts Robert A. Enyart and Fred Williams, as well as the company Bob Enyart Inc.

News of the lawsuit was first reported in the New York Post. Real Science Friday promotes creationism and focuses on science that shows “evidence for the creator God including from biology, geology, astronomy, and physics.” The lawsuit alleges that the show’s companion website, www.realsciencefriday.com, violates the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act by attempting to misdirect web users who are looking for the companion website to NPR’s Science Friday show to Enyart’s main website www.kgov.com. Sciencefriday Inc.,  is asking for a permanent injunction, at least $100,000 in punitive damages  and transfer of ownership of the www.realsciencefriday.com website domain.

Allan Pizzato

Alabama firings expose rift over PTV mission, editorial standards

It’s not clear what objectives the political appointees of the Alabama Educational Television Commission had in mind when they came out of an executive session on June 12 and voted 5–2 to fire the state-operated public TV network’s top managers. Allan Pizzato, executive director of Alabama Public Television for 12 years, and his deputy, Pauline Howland, were ordered to clean out their desks and immediately vacate the station’s Birmingham headquarters. The dismissals triggered a series of unintended consequences that included an exodus of nine lay leaders from APT’s fundraising organizations, as well as Howland’s reinstatement on a temporary basis two days later. After the dismissals, the commissioners realized that they needed her knowledge and expertise to complete work on APT’s 2013 budget. The fissure also exposed an internal struggle over the commission’s push to schedule programs from the religious right for APT broadcast, and a revision of the network’s mission statement.

With FCC’s eye on Daystar, WMFE-TV sale nixed

The FCC has delayed decisions on two transactions involving sales of public TV stations to Daystar Television Network to examine whether the religious broadcaster meets its criteria for localism and educational programming by noncommercial broadcasters. The scrutiny scuttled a deal involving WMFE in Orlando, pending for nearly a year, and held up a decision on KWBU in Waco, Texas. Daystar, a Texas-based religious network, has been in the market for public TV stations since at least 2003, when it paid $20 million for KERA’s second TV channel in Dallas. It most recently bid on KCSM in San Mateo, Calif. The WMFE sale fell apart after the FCC sent queries to the local entities that had been set up to operate the Orlando and Waco stations.