Programming in Brief: PRI launches women-focused initiative, WQXR offers Berlin concerts, and more

Public Radio International will launch a multimedia program focused on women’s empowerment with a grant of about $1.28 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Across Women’s Lives is a “journalism and engagement initiative” examining the connection between women’s empowerment and health and economic development. The program highlights personal stories of women in Africa and India and looks at women’s lives from infancy to old age. The project’s content will be featured on PRI’s global news program The World and online. Additional content includes short video documentaries and educational tools to help listeners learn more about the topics covered.

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.

Monday roundup: Alaska journalists raise concerns; Obama renominates CPB board member

• A lengthy Columbia Journalism Review feature focuses on a conflict over journalistic ethics at Anchorage-based Alaska Public Media. CFO Bernie Washington has been nominated to serve on the State Assessment Review Board, which helps to determine revenues from oil taxes in the state. APM journalists are concerned about Washington’s appointment compromising the network’s coverage of the review board. “We are aghast, quite frankly, aghast that our management doesn’t understand that this is a solid, more than apparent conflict of interest,” Steve Heimel, host of Talk of Alaska, told CJR.

• President Obama will nominate Elizabeth Sembler for a second term on the CPB board, the White House announced Thursday. Sembler joined the board in 2008 as an appointee of President Bush; her term expires this year. She currently serves as the board’s vice chair.

NYPR looking to boost coverage for classical station

New York Public Radio has applied to the FCC to acquire 90.3 FM in Ossining, N.Y., from community licensee Hudson Valley Community Radio for $400,000. The broadcaster plans to use the new signal as a repeater for WQXR, its classical music station airing on 105.9 FM in New York City. Ossining is about 40 miles north of the city, on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. The addition of 90.3 FM would expand WQXR’s reach to areas of Westchester County that were within its coverage area when it was owned by the New York Times. NYPR’s 2009 purchase of WQXR was a three-way transaction with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision that involved moving the classical station to a weaker signal.