With Jazz Night, WBGO and NPR Music will take fans into venues to listen, watch and chat

NPR and WBGO-FM in Newark, N.J., are teaming up to produce Jazz Night in America, a series of radio broadcasts paired with live, high-quality video webcasts of jazz performances from venues across the country. The series will debut in April 2014, said Anya Grundmann, e.p. of NPR Music, who discussed the project with jazz programmers during a Sept. 18 conference session at the PRPD conference. Videos will stream on NPR’s and WBGO’s websites, and stations will be able to install a video player platform on their own sites to present the webcasts with their stations’ brands prominently displayed. The series will mark the most prominent visual presentation of live jazz performance in U.S. broadcasting since CBS presented concerts in the 1950s, said Josh Jackson, v.p. of content at WBGO.

CPR, WBEZ, WUOT, WBGO lead 2013 PRNDI winners for pubradio news

Presented by NPR’s Scott Simon in Cleveland June 22, Public Radio News Directors Inc. honored the best local public radio news in 16 categories based on the size of stations’ newsroom staff. In addition, PRNDI recognized stations for standout news reporting edited by a national producer; these awards were presented in several categories without consideration of newsroom size. Top winners among this year’s contenders were Colorado Public Radio, Chicago’s WBEZ, WUOT of Knoxville, Tenn., and WBGO in Newark, N.J., which each received four first-place awards in their divisions. Miami’s WLRN and WBFO in Buffalo, N.Y., both topped three categories. CPR, WBEZ, and WLRN competed amongst stations with the largest newsrooms: Division A, for newsrooms staffed by five or more full-time journalists.

WBGO president takes leave, citing health issue

WBGO-FM in Newark, N.J., announced Wednesday that station President Cephas Bowles will take a leave of absence for health reasons. In the interim, Amy Niles, the station’s c.o.o., will serve as acting president. “My doctor has placed me on medical disability leave as I work to correct an escalating health issue,” Bowles said in a press release. “During this period, I will offer my support and cooperation to the Board, Amy and the station as needed. I am grateful for your thoughts and I look forward to returning to work as quickly as possible.”

Niles has led WBGO’s development, membership, marketing, programming and underwriting departments.

Briscoe no longer at Newark’s WBGO-FM

Thurston Briscoe is no longer at WBGO-FM in Newark, N.J. His last day was Friday. The news was first reported on the blog of the Public Radio Program Directors Association. Briscoe had served as the station’s program director for 23 years. When asked by Current whether Briscoe left willingly or was dismissed, General Manager Cephas Bowles said only, “Let us say that he is no longer at the station. That’s our position right now.”