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Posts Tagged ‘WNET’

Robert Kotlowitz, WNET’s First VP of Programming, Dies at 87

Channel 13 is making preparations for a huge celebration next month, marking the 50th anniversary of the New York City public television station. But today the station pauses to remember Robert Kotlowitz, an early executive at WNET.

Kotlowitz died over the weekend at his Manhattan home, a WNET spokeswoman confirms to FishbowlNY. He was 87.

As WNET was beginning its second decade as an educational force, Kotlowitz was exiting his role as managing editor at Harper’s Magazine. In 1971, he was named the station’s first vice president of programming and broadcasting.

Kotlowitz was instrumental in launching several PBS shows, among them the MacNeil-Lehrer Report, which he got the idea for after they hosted the Watergate hearings on PBS. They debuted nationally in 1975. More recently, the broadcast has been retitled PBS Newshour.

In 1981, while WNET struggled financially,  it was Kotlowitz’s idea to invest $500,000 in a British series. Brideshead Revisted would become one of television’s most successful shows in history, The New York Times writes. In 2000, the serial placed 10th on a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programs. In 2000, Time magazine recognized Brideshead as one of the 100 Best TV Shows of All Time.

Kotlowitz, interviewed in April for WNET’s 50th anniversary, was still unsure why he joined WNET.

“I ask myself [that] over and over again, even at this late point in my life,” Kotlowitz said.

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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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FishbowlNY: Year in Review

As we get ready to usher in 2012, let’s take one more look at the biggest broadcasting stories that FishbowlNY covered in 2011.

In January, Scott Clark closes out a brilliant career at WABC, retiring after nearly a quarter-century at Channel 7.

Maurice DuBois makes his debut as WCBS/Channel 2 lead anchor when he is promoted to nights opposite Kristine Johnson. Chris Wragge shifts his energy to The Early Show, but that wasn’t the last we would hear from him.

Also as 2011 began, veteran radio talk host Curtis Sliwa adds an afternoon shift to his Apple/WNYM duties.

In February, among the notable events, WNBC/Channel 4 welcomes home Shiba Russell from Boston. She was named weekend anchor with David Ushery. Russell fueled speculation that she was Sue Simmons’ “heir apparent,” as the main (if not exclusive) fill-in for the legendary anchor, who started at Channel 4 in 1980.

On the radio, Craig Allen, a veteran in his own right, agrees to a three-year extension as WCBS 880’s chief meteorologist. Two months later, Allen marked 30 years at the station.

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New York Radio, TV Stations Join Nationwide EAS Test

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will conduct the first nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) Test.

It will take place Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Broadcasters, cable television systems, and satellite radio providers are all required by law to participate in the test.
FishbowlNY has learned that most, if not all, stations will halt regular programming to air the approximate 30-second test.

Among those we can confirm are WCBS/Channel 2, WABC/Channel 7, and public TV stations WNET/Channel 13 and WLIW/Channel 21.

On the radio side, stations participating include the Clear Channel cluster of WAXQ/Q 104.3, WLTW/Lite FM, WHTZ/Z100 and WKTU. Inner City’s WBLS is set to carry the EAS test.

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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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Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

  1. TV Personality Jill Nicolini (left) Begins at WNYW on Monday, September 27
  2. Latest New Yorker Cover Puts Tourists in Their Place, September 28
  3. Conde´ Nast Adds More Magazine Themed Restaurants, September 26
  4. WNET/MetroFocus Reporter Calls Arrest at Occupy Wall Street Protest ‘Pretty Terrifying,’ September 27
  5. Time Inc. Rumors Kick Up Four Names, September 27 
  6. Hearst Launches New Magazine with HGTV, September 26
  7. WABC/Channel 7 Unveils New Studio, September 26
  8. Bloomberg View Executive Editor Abruptly Quits, September 28

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign-up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

WNET/MetroFocus Reporter Calls Arrest at Occupy Wall Street Protest ‘Pretty Terrifying’

A young reporter got caught in the crosshairs of a chaotic scene in Lower Manhattan. John Farley (left) of WNET’s new online local news magazine, MetroFocus was at the Occupy Wall Street protests on September 24th. He had covered the demonstrations when they began a week earlier.

His story angle last weekend was citizen journalism, but Farley moments later would become the story. After cops allegedly shot pepper spray at two women, Farley approached them for an interview to find out what happened.

Despite using his reporter instincts, Farley found himself being busted for civil disobedience. Dozens were taken into custody and brought to the First Precinct.

While many citizen journalists were arrested, Farley contends that he was the only legitimate journalist to be handcuffed with plastic ties.

“[I was] surprised,” Farley tells FishbowlNY. “I pulled out my employee ID card and showed them my audio recorder.”

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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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Brian Williams, Rick Buckley Named 2011 Giants of Broadcasting

Thirteen individuals with a rich history in the business have been selected as this year’s Giants of Broadcasting. The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation puts the event together each year.

Among the stellar list:

  • Rick Buckley (right), who died in July, was head of his own broadcasting company. As president and CEO, Buckley oversaw several radio stations, including WOR.
  • Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News since Tom Brokaw stepped down in 2004. Williams is a multiple-Emmy and Murrow Award winner
  • The men behind CBS’ Sunday Morning—original anchor Charles Kuralt, successor Charles Osgood, executive producer Rand Morrison, and early TV innovator Robert “Shad” Northshield
  • Christiane Amanpour is host of ABC’s Sunday morning political program This Week. But she made a name for herself as CNN’s chief international correspondent.
  •  Brian Lamb is creator, founder, and chief executive officer of C-Span. He has been the main personality of the, now three channels, since launching 32 years ago.

Bill Baker, WNET president emeritus will serve as master of ceremonies. The awards ceremony takes place on October 14 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan.

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