Monday, February 28, 2005

Andi Sporkin Joins NPR as Vice President, Communications

NPR Press release

Programmer hones strategy for public radio

'Jim Russell recently was named head of new-program development at American Public Media, the program-distribution arm of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)... In a recent conversation, Russell talked about public radio, its challenges and how he wants APM's programming to meet them.'
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Public radio turns off the music

'Chopin is on the chopping block. Public radio stations in Washington and other cities are dropping classical music from their lineups, replacing it with news and talk shows, especially the increasingly popular offerings from National Public Radio.'
Washington Times
... see also the article 'Diminuendo: Weak audience and income blamed in classical fade' published in the February 16 issue of Current.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ira Glass takes 'This American Life' from the air to the stage

New Orleans Times Picayune

Thursday, February 24, 2005

CBC gets C$60m budget rise

The Canadian public broadcaster CBC has seen its budget boosted by C$60m (US$48m) for 2005-2006, as finance minister Ralph Goodale responds to producers' pressure to put Canadian culture at centre stage.

NPR boots the play

'It's against the critic's credo to criticize something you haven't seen. Doesn't make sense, somehow. Today, let's make an exception. We're talking about National Public Radio, which just announced plans to broadcast a series of reports on the nation's regional theaters...'
Remote Control Weblog
San Diego Union-Tribune television critic Robert Laurence's observations on television

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

UMass battles over control of college radio station

'A storm brewing at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell's venerable radio station, WUML-FM (91.9), pits students trying to keep control of airtime against administrators looking to bring in minor league baseball and former public radio talker Christopher Lydon.'
Boston Herald

Editorial: Time for National Private Radio

'Something big is happening here, in other words, without fanfare, and with only token public deliberation. Public radio in the United States is remaking itself according to a wholly new sense of its mission.'
The Weekly Standard

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

CBC Radio and Podcasting: An Update

Tod Maffin's I Love

Monday, February 21, 2005

A new life for radio at the end of the road

'A new chapter is opening for one of Minnesota's quirkier radio stations. WELY is known as End of the Road Radio, serving the small town of Ely, at the edge of the Boundary Waters. WELY was owned a few years ago by Charles Kuralt, and it's soon to be owned by a local band of Ojibwe Indians. Band officials say they'll keep the station pretty much as it is.'
Minnesota Public Radio

Meeting Scheduled for Possible Iowa Public Radio Network

KCRG TV Cedar Rapids

Podcast boosts NPR show's audience

Saturday, February 19, 2005

CBC Radio 3 Re-evaluates It's Reach

'Fulfilling their mission to bring our stretched-out borders closer together in hopes of holding Canadian underground music up to the light, CBC Radio 3 is set to take the next step in its relatively short life. Not so much an actual national radio station as a show that crops up on CBC Radio 2 every once in a while, Radio 3 is getting down to serious business, reorganizing and expanding its content.'

The great Canadian book brawl

It's been four years since the radio and TV program Canada Reads made its debut, and Canada is still complaining.
The Globe and Mail

Classical Music Belongs in Washington

In a letter to the editor of the Washington Post, WETA's founding manager, Fred Flaxman, responds to the station's format change.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

A new guide to public radio podcasts from Tod Maffin.

Jacking in to podcasts

'So far, podcasting is mostly the province of tech-savvy early adopters. But pubcasters believe that it could in time raise their profile among listeners and draw younger web surfers who are letting their radios gather dust. '

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A Week of Insults on NPR

An essay sure to send you to the Google translation tool...
NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin

Monday, February 14, 2005

Edwards talking, but who's listening?

'The pipes still work. If you haven't heard from Bob Edwards in a while, too bad. His deep, smoky baritone hasn't faded a bit since he bolted National Public Radio last year to join XM Satellite Radio, an upstart subscription service.'
The Washington Times

Mulroney warns CBC on Airbus 'hoax'

Canadian Press

Sunday, February 13, 2005

WETA, Facing the Music (or Lack Thereof)

'If you're looking to blame someone for the demise of classical music on WETA and other public radio stations around the country, here are some bogeymen: former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich and his 1994 Contract With America team; David Giovannoni, the father of public radio's descent into market-research-driven programming decisions; and the producers of National Public Radio's news programs.'
Washington Post

Saturday, February 12, 2005

'Progressive Call to Action: Boycott NPR Pledge Drives'

'Over the past year, I've become increasingly distressed by the shift in editorial direction at National Public Radio (NPR). The first apparent shift in direction occurred last year, when Bob Edwards (then-host of Morning Edition) was given his walking papers. In the subsequent runup to the election, it became increasingly clear to me that NPR was taking great pains to shift from a neutral-to-left editorial slant to neutral-to-right.'
The All Spin Zone

Do Too Many Listener Complaints Turn off NPR?

'NPR's Scott Simon raises an interesting issue this week about whether all listener complaints are valid:

Jeffrey, I think we had an illustration of an interesting and valuable point today. We had on a three-person singing group called Innocence Mission who has recorded an album of lullabies. The e-mail response we received was overwhelmingly hostile. People didn't write just to say, "I don't care for that kind of music," but disparaged the singers, our taste in music, and our waste of their resources of time and support in airing such treacle. Of course, several vowed, "I am never giving another dime to W*#& again...."

NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin's column at

For Click And Clack, There's No Putting On The Brakes

'Now in its 18th year of syndication, “Car Talk,” the weekly National Public Radio show starring Cambridge homeboys Tom and Ray Magliozzi, a.k.a. Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, has never been more popular — or better positioned to win new fans, with an animated TV show in the works and more merchandise for sale than you can shake a stick shift at.', New London, CT

Friday, February 11, 2005

Prairie Home to hit silver screen

London's Mirror says 'The Player director Robert Altman always manages to secure top casts for peanuts. Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin have already signed up to A Prairie Home Companion. The film goes behind the scenes of the real madcap radio show, American institution, hosted by writer Garrison Keillor.'
See also (scroll down), and Cinema Blend

A breath of 'Fresh Air'

'A book version of the Q&A format seemed inevitable, even though the award-winning, ever-busy and always prepared Gross put off the project for several years. Now the first of what one assumes will be several volumes is out. It is all one might expect - and less.'
Madison Capital Times

Podcasting brings radio production to masses

Associated Press

WETA Board Approves Switch To News-Talk Format

'WETA-FM listeners who had hoped to prevent the widely anticipated decision by the public broadcasting station's board of directors to drop classical music programs left its Shirlington offices disappointed last night. By an overwhelming majority, the board approved a resolution to focus on news and public-affairs programming.'
Washington Post
see also Board of Washington's WETA Votes to Drop Classical Music from Playbill Arts

Thursday, February 10, 2005

'American' home companion

Ira Glass lets you peek behind the curtain at the making of his weekly radio show.
San Diego Union Tribune