Monday roundup: CPB Board gets nominee; public TV funding rebounds

• President Obama has nominated Dr. Judith Davenport to serve as a CPB Board director, the White House announced Friday. Davenport, a retired dentist, co-founded Pittsburgh, Pa.–based Sheridan Broadcasting Corp. with her husband Ronald in 1973. She also serves on several other boards, including the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and the Andy Warhol Museum. The nomination goes to the Senate for confirmation.

NPR’s Generation Listen launch a hit at SXSW

NPR launched its new Generation Listen initiative in Austin, Texas, with a blowout bash March 11. The party, held in the midst of the South by Southwest Interactive conference, was part of the new ongoing effort to encourage listeners under the age of 30 to tune into public radio. Brian Stelter of the New York Times has a write-up of the event, which had Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal, TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz and author Neil Gaiman in attendance.

Wide-open market for podcasters: programs that feature, and appeal to, women

AUSTIN, Texas — When podcasting stars gathered March 11 at the South by Southwest Interactive conference to discuss the challenges facing their medium, the lack of diversity among creative talents in podcasting — especially the dearth of women in hosting roles — was cited among the most perplexing problems.

A Feb. 26 editorial by Third Coast Audio Festival Director Julie Shapiro provided impetus for the discussion among a panel of four podcasters — each with ties to public media in the U.S. and Britain and one of whom was female.  In her commentary published last month by Transom, Shapiro questioned why only 20 of the top 100 iTunes podcasts are hosted by women. “There’s literally no barrier to entry, so I don’t know what that’s about,” said Roman Mars, creator and host of 99% Invisible, a podcast and pubradio series. Public media, which supports many of the most popular podcasts on iTunes, has a strong history of nurturing female talent, he said. He pointed out that the Third Coast Festival’s Award for Best New Artist has gone to a man only once in the past 10 years.

Pubradio backs musical acts at SXSW festival

Public radio will be well-represented at the musical portion of the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, March 13–16. The NPR Music showcase March 13 will feature the Yeah Yeah Yeahs performing new songs from their forthcoming album Mosquito, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Mexican rockers Café Tacvba and others. Audio of the live set at 8 p.m. Eastern will be offered for station broadcast and distributed online; NPR Music will also offer a live video stream through its website and mobile apps. Café Tacvba will put in double duty and appear in a March 14 showcase arranged by NPR Music’s Alt.Latino channel, along with Molotov, also from Mexico. Rounding out the lineup is Bajofondo, a band led by Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla, who has scored films including Brokeback Mountain and The Motorcycle Diaries.

PBS pushes message of digital innovation at SXSW

During a March 10 appearance at the South by Southwest Interactive conference, PBS President Paula Kerger talked the talk of digital innovation, pointing to the network’s recent successes with web-original videos, social media messaging and the unparalleled popularity of online content tied to PBS Kids.

Michele Norris shares details of her Race Card Project at SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas — Former All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris discussed details of her Race Card Project during a March 9 panel at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. The project, which began during a 2010 book tour promoting her memoir The Grace of Silence, is a conversational tool in which Norris facilitates an ongoing dialogue about race. She distributes physical “race cards” to participants, who are asked to write their thoughts on race in six words or fewer and mail the cards back to Norris (whose parents were both U.S. postal workers). Norris then compiles the responses onto a website. Norris initiated the project as she was traveling the country to promote her book and found herself discussing highly charged moments of her family’s history in front of audiences.