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Posts Tagged ‘PBS’

(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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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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Fred Willard Fired by PBS for Doing Dirty Old Man Things (Allegedly)

PBS doesn’t believe in Matthew’s theory that you only live once (YOLO).

The network fired Fred Willard on Thursday as a narrator following his arrest at an adult theater where he was busted for committing a lewd act.

“Given the unfortunate news reported today, effective immediately, Fred Willard no longer will be involved with the Market Warriors series,” PBS said in a statement.

Willard’s camp fired back, denying that the 72-year-old was doing anything inappropriate.

“With all due respect to the individual officer, our belief is that Fred did nothing in any violation of any law,” Willard’s lawyer, Paul Takakjian, told TMZ.com.

Andy Rooney, Don Cornelius, Among 2012 Giants of Broadcasting

An eclectic group of TV and radio pioneers has been selected as Giants of Broadcasting. This year’s class includes the late Don Cornelius, who was the revolutionary Soul Train host from 1971 to 1993.

  • The man who gave Archie Bunker life, Norman Lear , is among the 2012 group. The producer-extraordinaire, Lear was behind some of television’s most endearing sitcoms, including All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and SonGood Times, and One Day at a Time. Lear, who turns 90 on July 27, has won four Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
  • Ted Turner brought the idea of 24-hour news to people’s homes, and CNN was born in 1980.  The mogul also founded TNT (Turner Network Television) and TCM (Turner Classic Movies). He was named Time‘s Man of Year for 1991.
  • Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer were the longtime PBS nightly news anchors. They were first to anchor a one-hour newscast in the U.S. and made of career at that rare feat. The MacNeil/Lehrer Report debuted in 1975. Eight years later, the tandem was expanded to 60 minutes. MacNeil, who earlier in his career worked for NBC News, retired in 1995.

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PBS, USA Today, Newsweek, WSJ Get Pinterest Users Pinning

Pinterest drives traffic, so news organizations would be smart to try and take advantage of that. By one set of metrics, PBS, USA Today, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and The Wall Street Journal are all doing fairly well. Poynter analyzed a collection of 13 media entities using Pinterest, including The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, The Washington Post and more, and found that PBS leads the pack when considering “repins.”

For every pin PBS posts, it is repinned six times. Following PBS is USA Today (4.4 repins per pin), Newsweek/The Daily Beast (4.3) and the Journal (4.2).

The New York Times wasn’t counted in the study because the paper isn’t on Pinterest yet. There is a Times Pinterest account, but all that is there is a post proclaiming that it is “starting in June 2012.”

Better hurry.

(Video) 71st Annual Peabody Awards Recap; Stephen Colbert, Parks and Recreation

The Peabody Awards honors the best in electronic media. Winners for the 2011 awards were handed out this week at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Among the 38 recipients were some of TV’s most familiar faces.

Stephen Colbert earned his second Peabody as host of the satire, Colbert Report.

Alex Trebek and Jeopardy! earned their first Peabody. The classic game show returned to the air with Trebek in 1984. (Watch the video below)

CNN was recognized with three trophies, including its coverage of the Arab Spring. Anderson Cooper was on hand to accept the honor.

PBS was selected for three awards, one given to the acclaimed series American Experience.

On a lighter note, NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation was victorious, along with the HBO medieval fantasy Game of Thrones. After the jump, watch a clip with actors from both shows.

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KCET May Sell Studio to Church of Scientology

The LA Times is reporting that public television station KCET is in talks to sell their historic Sunset Boulevard studio to the Church of Scientology. The Los Feliz studio dates back to 1912, and was once the home of Monogram Pictures and Allied Artists. According to the LA Times, the Sunset Blvd. property has an assessed value of $14.1 million. KCET responded to the rumors with a post on the station website:

We would like to respond to the erroneous information being circulated about KCET. Here is the truth: KCET is NOT being sold. We are firmly committed to being Southern California’s independent public TV station.

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Liberal Criticism of PBS Too Quick To The Draw

111pbs.jpgTavis Smiley Ends Racism” reads a Gawker post today about the PBS host, but they’re not talking about The Covenant with Black America editor bringing people together.

Instead, the article is about Tavis Smiley‘s decision to end his 10-year-old State of the Black Union conference, which some would argue is inherently race-related (though how it may be “racist” is a different matter entirely, based mostly on Smiley’s previous criticism of Barack Obama). This news comes barely a week after PBS ombudsman Michael Getler addressed readers and explained that there’s a difference between something being on public television, and it being distributed by PBS, as viewers emailed to complain about the station being in bed with a George W. Bush institution in producing a series called “Ideas For Action.”

In fact, it is EPS (Executive Program Services, run by several ex-PBS staffers) which is distributing and co-producing the series, though the shows will be shown on public television.

Though it may seem like a splitting of hairs in both of these cases, the anti-PBS rhetoric of late seems bent towards liberal blogs (The Huffington Post, Gawker), ironically reinforcing the idea that only left-wing writers pay attention to public television in the first place.

Read More: APNewsBreak: Smiley Ends State of the Black Union –AP/The New York Times

Another Case of ‘It’s on PBS, but It’s Not PBS’ –PBS Ombudsman

George W. Bush Institute To Co-Produce Public Television Show “Ideas In Action” –Huffington Post

Tavis Smiley Ends Racism –Gawker

2010 Trends: Non-Profit Journalism Takes On Investigative Work

notebook.jpgWhen our friends at Folio magazine asked us to contribute to their compilation of media predictions for 2010, we knew we had to include something about non-profit journalism organizations. Here’s part of what we said:

“Media companies will also be looking to partner up in order to pool resources and keep costs low. Non-profit journalism organizations and Web sites that rely on citizen journalism are a good place for traditional media to look for partners.”

Of course, we were thinking of sites like ProPublica, which we wrote about yesterday with respect to its use of crowdsourcing. And long-standing non-profit news organizations like NPR and PBS continue to expand their hyperlocal coverage and online presence. But 2009 also saw the launch a few big non-profit journalism ventures, like The Texas Tribune and The Huffington Post Investigative Fund. They’re poised to grow in the coming year and may become an important part of the media dialogue.

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Pay Walls And Advertisers: Do News Orgs Have To Choose?

wsj222.jpgWhen Long Island local newspaper Newsday decided to put its Web site behind a pay wall earlier this year, it seemed like an obvious conclusion that there would be less people visiting the site. If you start charging for a previously free item, your consumer-base is going to drop.

If this seems like common sense to most people, Newsday.com did everything in its power to convince the media that the 34 percent dip in its traffic once it enacted a pay wall was due to anything but the obvious $5 a week premium charge.

So why all the denial? Newsday.com still keeps advertising on its Web site, which creates two potential revenue streams for the publisher. Unfortunately, without readers swiping their cards for the site, Newsday‘s advertisers aren’t getting what they paid for in potential consumers.

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