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Posts Tagged ‘Neal Shapiro’

(Video) Neal Shapiro, WNET President and CEO, Reflects on Thirteen’s Fiftieth

When the independent station taking up space at Channel 13 became a non-commercial station, history was made. It was September 16, 1962. CBS News icon Edward R. Murrow introduced new WNDT (New Dimensions in Television), thus unveiling New York City’s first educational TV station. (Watch the video clip below)

Murrow opened the initial telecast saying, “Tonight, you join me on a great adventure… This instrument can teach, it can illuminate, yes, and it can even inspire, but it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends.”

So it is only fitting that FishbowlNY honors the remarkable achievement with a series of articles commemorating the 50th anniversary of Channel 13.

FishbowlNY recently sat down with WNET president and CEO, Neal Shapiro.

While searching for clips to use in an anniversary documentary/retrospective, Shapiro says Channel 13, which became WNET in 1970, felt like more like a museum, unearthing station artifacts.

“Fifty years ago, the station was just starting and having to reinvent everything,” Shapiro tells FishbowlNY. “Fifty years later, we’re still doing some of that because in the process of discovering our history in turns out things were stored sort of haphazardly. The mediums are different…much of it uncatalogued.”

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WNET and NYC Media Form Content Sharing Partnership

WNET, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary next month, has joined forces with NYC Media, the official network of New York City.

The television providers will share content with each other, as they highlight different aspects of the City. For example, in the coming weeks, NYC life, the flagship station of NYC Media, will broadcast episodes of Treasures of New York and MetroFocus, while WNET will air NYC life’s special about City parks.

“As the City’s television station, it is a pleasure to partner with an institution like WNET to bring our special about the City’s iconic parks to a new audience and have the opportunity to do the same by airing WNET’s quality programs, showcasing what’s great about New York City,” said Diane Petzke, general manager, NYC Media.

“This strategic partnership with NYC Media allows us to mine our incredible archives for new platforms,” said Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET, parent company of Thirteen and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV. “As THIRTEEN marks its 50th anniversary milestone this year, there will be more ways to enjoy our programs made by New Yorkers for New Yorkers on WNET and NYC life. I look forward to expanding our member-audience base in the tri-state community through this unique programming opportunity and hope we’ll create and share more original projects on NYC life.”

Look for special FishbowlNY posts next month as WNET commemorates its golden anniversary.

WNET Launches MetroFocus Mobile App

In the latest roll-out of the MetroFocus plan, WNET’s online local news destination is now located in the mobile app world.

MetroFocus is debuting an app for the iPhone and iPad. The app gives users a little touch of New York at their fingertips. Users can get the commute started on the right track with customized weather and traffic alerts. The app also features original articles from the MetroFocus Web page, videos, photo galleries, plus downloadable podcasts covering local news, politics, arts, and culture.

“The legacy model of public television is changing and the new MetroFocus mobile app is a prime example of WNET’s vision to innovate the way in which we serve our public mission,” said WNET president and CEO Neal Shapiro. “As we approach our 50th anniversary, I am thrilled to see WNET’s local content expand to a new mobile platform.”

Other features of the MetroFocus app include:

  • Interacting with the city on foursquare. This is the first mobile app to utilize the “Save to foursquare” button, which instantly adds locations features on MetroFocus on your foursquare “to-do list.”
  • Checking the daily “can’t miss” headlines from other media outlets.
  • Have a tip? In just a few taps you can share your idea with MetroFocus editors.
  • Users can share any story with friends or family via Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

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Jailed MetroFocus Reporter is Off the Hook

Credit: MetroFocus/Sam Lewis

Charges have been dropped against MetroFocus reporter John Farley.

As we previously reported, Farley and appproximately 70 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested on September 24th.

Today, Farley, a staff reporter at WNET’s online news and culture magazine, and the others, appeared in New York City Criminal Court to face charges stemming from mass arrests.

The charges of disorderly conduct against him were dropped.

While conducting an interview with two women at the Occupy Wall Street protests, Farley was arrested and detained for nearly eight hours.

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Veteran Anchor Mike Schneider to Helm NJTV Nightly Newscast

Longtime anchor Mike Schneider has joined public broadcaster NJTV, operated by WNET. He has been named the anchor and managing editor of NJ Today, which begins this evening.

Schneider, a three-time Emmy winner, calls this the right opportunity for his career.

“In a way, things are just coming full circle,” Schneider tells FishbowlNY.

The accomplished broadcast journalist has had a long association with WNET president Neal Shapiro. In the mid 1990s, he filed reports for Dateline, while Shapiro was the show’s executive producer, before being installed as president of NBC News.

Schneider says his professional relationship with Shapiro dates back even farther, to their days at ABC in the late 1980s.

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WNET Launches Local News Website–MetroFocus

Beginning today, WNET New York Public Media, the parent company of Channel 13 and Channel 21/WLIW, goes live with local news website MetroFocus (www.thirteen.org/metrofocus). Billing itself as news, culture, and life in around New York, this marks the first phase of a mulitplatform initiative for MetroFocus.  

On the home page, visitors can examine top stories and a roundup of local news from other sources.  

In addition to timely news stories, the inaugural content on the MetroFocus website will feature reporting from the investigative journalism nonprofit City Limits about poverty in New York on the 15-year anniversary of welfare reform.

“If we want to stay relevant to the communities where we operate, we need to serve them better,” WNET president and CEO Neal Shapiro said. “That’s why we’re enhancing WNET’s legacy of top-quality national programming with our commitment to coverage of the local issues, tensions and challenges facing people in the tri-state region.”

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WNET Takes Over Programming of New Jersey Network

Last night, New Jersey Network ended its 40-year run of providing state news and information.

Due to budgetary concerns, NJN’s days were numbered. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced last month that WNET, the parent company of Channel 13 and Channel 21/WLIW would handle all programming and services under a five-year deal. The broadcast license continues to be maintained by the state.

“WNET is uniquely qualified to maintain and grow the network for New Jersey and its cititzens,” Christie said. “WNET brings a wealth of resources to the table, including an award-winnning education department that provides video and other materials to teachers; an innovative interactive department with a solid technology infrastructure and other back-office functions that will help NJN strive. I am confident that WNET will continue to provide the excellent local and national public television programming that New Jersey residents have relied on for more than 40 years.”

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Longtime WLIW/Channel VP Laura Savini Stepping Down to Create Own Company

Viewers of Channel 21/WLIW are well aware of personality Laura Savini. She’s been with public television station for more than 20 years. Savini, though, is giving up her role as VP of Marketing and Communications. She was elevated to that position in 1996.

Savini, who is launching her own company Untamed Hair Productions and Consulting, will remain as WLIW host.

“I have grown up at, with and on WLIW21 as part of the team that took the station from a small local outlet to a national player,” reflected Savini. “As an on-air host, I took our viewers around the world and they, in return, warmly welcomed me into their homes and have enjoyed my personal approach to fundraising. WLIW and its viewers have played tremendous roles in my life. Now, I will expand my experiences and build my own company, Untamed Hair Productions. Audiences should stay tuned to see where I turn up next!”

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WNET Taking Splash at Local News Online

WNET, the parent company of public broadcasters WNET/Channel 13 and WLIW/Channel 21, is going to cover local news on the Web starting around Memorial Day.

The New York Times reports the venture, called MetroFocus, was envisioned as a 30-minute television show and a mobile application as well. The Times says television specials or regular monthly or weekly programs airing on both stations, could happen as soon as the fall. A daily version is likely thereafter.

Neal Shapiro, WNET president and chief executive, told The New York Times that the rollout to television would depend on fundraising, and also what is learned from the website.

PBS Talker Tavis Smiley and WNET Agree to Production Deal

Tavis Smiley is entering into his eighth season of his Public Broadcasting System talk show. The nightly 30-minute show is seen throughout the country, including on WNET/Channel 13.

The award-winning show will be co-produced by WNET.org, Channel 13′s parent company.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Tavis Smiley now on the eve of his 20th anniversary in broadcasting, ” said  Neal Shapiro, WNET president and CEO. “Like all great interviewers, his intelligence and curiosity sparks conversation and brings out the most interesting aspects of his guests. He’s an important part of the PBS lineup today and into the future – and we’re delighted to have him join us.”

While remaining based in Los Angeles, Smiley will occasionally bring his show to New York at WNET’s new Tisch studios on the Lincoln Center campus.

“When we began our program, the station that I wanted most to be on was WNET in New York, ” Smiley said in a statement. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would have the honor of being partnered with this iconic broadcast outlet.”

In addition to the nightly program, Smiley will work with WNET to explore new media ventures including primetime specials, educational content based on his show, an evolving web presence, and collaborations with other WNET shows.  

Photo Credit: WNET.ORG/Joe Sinnott
Smiley joined with Shapiro at WNET’s new Tisch studios.

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