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Perspectives on the Media from New York Public Television

Media Briefing for Thursday, June 19, 2008

staff | June 19th, 2008

The FCC says that items voted upon at the FCC are secret. When the Federal Communications Commission votes on something at a public meeting, the document they are voting on isn’t necessarily for public consumption, the agency says. Associated Press reports.

The Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to loosen the ban on broadcast station-newspaper ownership took another hit on Capitol Hill Tuesday. The U.S. House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee approved an appropriations bill that includes a provision that would disallow funding for the FCC rule change. That provision was attached to a broader appropriations bill that funds the FCC, Federal Trade Commission and other regulatory agencies. The bill passed on voice vote and is scheduled for full committee markup sometime next week. Democratic U.S. congressman Jos? Serrano of the Bronx, chairman of the House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee, said “I believe the loosening of media-consolidation rules is detrimental to the goals of diversity in ownership and viewpoints, as well as to localism and independence in the news media.” Broadcasting & Cable reports.

The best way for stations to keep local TV news viewers is to send them away – on line – to the station’s Web site, says TV Newsday.

In California, TV coverage of gay weddings was marked by its tameness this week. The general lack of hysteria in TV news over gay marriages proves a shift in public opinion much more effectively than any poll. The Los Angeles Times reports.

The AP’s real problem isn’t bloggers: it’s its own newspapers, says the New York Times.

Jay Adelson, the chief executive of Digg, the big social news site, says he has sympathy for the claim by the Associated Press that blogs and other Web sites shouldn’t quote from its articles. The New York Times reports.

Advertisements appearing in traditional media like television are still “much more likely” to have made a positive impression with consumers than ads running in digital media, according to a new study called “When Advertising Works.” The New York Times reports.

The husband-and-wife team behind Yahoo’s popular photo-sharing service Flickr have resigned, following two top executives that have departed since the Internet pioneer rejected a $47.5 billion takeover offer from Microsoft, says Associated Press.

Sprint is pricing its iPhone rival Instinct at $130, says Reuters.

Verizon expects a green light for FiOS service in the five boroughs of New York City next month, says the New York Times.

Lifetime Networks entertainment president Susanne Daniels is leaving to be a mother, says the Los Angeles Times.

The social networking site MySpace is aiming for big bucks with its site redesign, says the Los Angeles Times.

Firefox is blazing new Web browsing ground and is fueling up its rivals, says the Boston Globe.

The blind or deaf can feel left behind as the tools of technology advance. Associated Press reports.

Sprint Nextel says it is asking U.S. regulators to extend the deadline for it to stop using a key piece of airwaves close to the networks of public-safety agencies. Reuters reports.

In Massachusetts, in the days just before the slayings of his wife and baby, defendant Neil Entwistle’s computer was used to troll for “blonde beauties” and “half-price escorts” on the Internet, look for jobs, search for last-minute airfares to England, and conduct Google searches for the words “knife in the neck kill” and “quick suicide method,” a witness for the prosecution has testified. The Boston Globe reports.

What does watching TV mean in the post-TV age? Associated Press reports.

Because of irreconcilable differences, the CEO of Hearst, Victor Ganzi, has stepped down, says Business Week.

Why India’s Reliance is going Hollywood, is explained by Business Week.

In Russia, three men have been charged in the death of an investigative reporter, says the Washington Post.

On Cape Cod, “Outermost Radio” is getting ready to reach a little further. This summer, WOMR-FM 92.1 – to use the Provincetown nonprofit community station’s official call letters – will be launching a capital campaign to raise funds for a “repeater” station, which will carry its eclectic programming further up Cape. “We’re very excited,” says Dave Myers, executive director of WOMR/Lower Cape Communications, Inc., which first went on air in 1982. “We’ll reach into the much more populous part of the Cape.” The repeater, which will carry WOMR’s signal on Brewster’s 91.3 FM, will reach listeners in Orleans, Dennis, Chatham, Harwich, Yarmouth, Barnstable, and beyond. The Boston Globe reports.

The summer schedule of Masterpiece Theatre, which airs Sunday evenings at 9 on Thirteen/WNET, is profiled by the Washington Post.

Some 1,500 political and media leaders turned out for yesterday’s services for Tim Russert, says the Washington Post.

Media Briefing for Wednesday, June 18, 2008

staff | June 18th, 2008

Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez has attacked the Hartford Courant for allowing readers to post racist and hateful speech on the paper’s online comment boards, raises an issue increasingly confronting newsrooms across the country as newspapers rapidly transform from primarily a print to an Internet business: How far should newspapers go in policing that kind of speech? TheHartford Courant reports. Mayor Perez wants the Courant to immediately ban what he describes as racist comments and hate speech on the discussion forums on the newspaper’s website. In an open letter dated Monday, Hartford mayor Eddie Perez and five other city politicians demanded that the Courant publisher Stephen Carver publicly apologize for allowing Courant.com to become a “platform for racist hate speech,” reports the Hartford Courant.

Black radio is ebbing, says a new film. The New York Daily News reports.

Kerwin Swint, a professor of Political Science at Kennesaw State University in Georgia and the biographer of Fox News Godfather Roger Ailes, says he “couldn’t believe that no one had written a book on him yet. He’s been such a central figure for so long.” Swint says Ailes is “good at what he does, he knows that (Rupert Murdoch’s) Fox News is not objective, he knows there’s a political agenda there, and the thing is, much of Fox’s audience knows it too, but they’re willing participants. It’s not necessarily that they’re being fooled, it’s that Fox News draws a lot of Republicans, a lot of conservatives who like the kind of news they provide. There’s a willingness on the part of the audience as sort of cheerleaders. But I do think he takes in a lot of people too. There are a lot of people who tune in to Fox who are moderate or who have little information from other sources and they are taken in to a degree.” The New York Observer reports.

Big brands have been slow to move their sponsorships to the Web, says the Washington Post.

Automobile manufacturers are moving their advertising slowly to the Web, says eMarketer.

Internet advertising revenue dipped slightly in the first quarter to about $5.8 billion, ending a streak of 13 quarters of consecutive quarterly growth. Associated Press reports.

While marketers and advertisers have much to cheer in the coming digital revolution, the fastest growth will be in emerging markets, with the United States lagging behind. The New York Times reports.

There is a solution to those dealing with Web overload, having to check multiple sites. Yoono, a site that installs a free sidebar that sits atop the Internet browser and can show pictures of friends, their online status and any updates they have made to their profiles on various Internet sites. Now, the Web browser can quickly see what is going on with his friends at various sites by simply mousing over the sidebar. “It’s a time saver and it’s not annoying,” one user says of Yoono. The Wall Street Journal reports.

At a social networking site, only the businesslike need apply. In the midst of Silicon Valley’s recession-proof enthusiasm for community-oriented Web sites, LinkedIn, the most boring of the social networks is grabbing the spotlight. The New York Times reports.

LinkedIn, has received $53 million in venture capital money, says the Los Angeles Times.

Engineers who run data centers are in high demand as the growth in such facilities struggles to keep up with the increasing demands of Internet-era computing. The New York Times reports.

The latest edition of the Firefox browser is the beginning of an evolution in the standards behind Web pages that will enable much more sophisticated applications. The New York Times reports.

The city of Philadelphia is reviving its citywide wi fi project, says Reuters.

Verizon Communications is boosting the speed of its FiOS fiber-optic Internet service in 10 states. The FiOS service areas of California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington will see new plans that nearly double Internet speeds, says Associated Press.

Yahoo has signed five more mobile search deals, says mocoNews.

Cellular telephone makers are bullish on the second half of this year, says Reuters.

There is a redesign at Skype. A new version of Skype makes it easier to set up video-calls and organize records of past conversations. The New York Times reports.

Microsoft has acquired an interactive TV firm, Navic Networks, says the Boston Globe.

Biometric Identification Services provides electronic fingerprinting, says the Hartford Courant.

Joan Rivers was asked to leave a live British television program after using two curse words, says Associated Press.

George Carlin is to receive the Mark Twain Humor Prize. One milestone in his career was the “Seven Dirty Words” controversy that became part of a U.S.Supreme Court case in 1978. Carlin, now 71, listed seven words that couldn’t be used on television in a 1972 album called “Class Clown” and he was arrested for obscenity when he performed the routine in Wisconsin. Then Carlin resurrected the list on his next album, which was played on radio station WBAI 99.5 in New York. A listener complained to the Federal Communications Commission eventually the Supreme Court said the routine was indecent but not obscene and the words could be banned from radio and television broadcasts when children are most likely to be in the audience. Thus, the 6 a.m.-10 p.m. rule against airing indecent material. The Washington Post and Associated Press report.

The Sierra Club is running radio ads opposing John McCain in Ohio, reports the Washington Post.

Ninety per cent of the American public now know about the end of analog broadcasting and transition to all digital telecasting in February, says the Philadelphia Daily News.

The 4 p.m. memorial service for Tim Russert is being televised live today by MSNBC, says the Washington Post. MSNBC coverage begins at 3 p.m. Those who will speak will include Tim Russert’s son Luke, former governor Mario Cuomo, and the 7th grade nun who encouraged Tim Russert to start up and be the editor of a student newspaper and his school.

Richard Engel, Phil Donahue and Brit Hume were among those who came to yesterday’s 7-hour wake for Tim Russert, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Tim Russert’s private funeral drew the elites of politics and journalism, says the Buffalo News.

In Connecticut, two spiky-haired Simsbury High School seniors are making homeroom at the school entertaining with their 10-minute TV broadcast “Chris And Chris In The Morning,” reports the Hartford Courant.

How much is an old telephone book worth? A bidder has paid $170,500 for a New Haven telephone directory from 1878, reports the Hartford Courant.

Former AFTRA counsel Tom Powers has died of cancer. The service for Powers will be held Friday morning at 11:30 at the National Labor College in the Lane Kirkland Center, 10000 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland. The Washington Post reports.

A U.S. House Of Representatives Subcommittee has voted to block the FCC’s rule to allow more consolidation, including cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations in the same market. Dow Jones reports.

The CEO of the Chicago Sun Times says he is watching its advertising revenues melt before its eyes, and that there will be more cuts at the paper, reports Midwest Business.

Cox Newspapers are going mobile, says Media Daily News.

The manner in which politicians posture as being unfairly attacked whenever they receive criticism from opponents, is used to try to get the opponents to soften their attacks, says the Washington Post.

There is a look at violence in Milwaukee and absent fathers, in a documentary tonight on Milwaukee PBS station WMVS channel 10, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

When Kimberly Dozier accepted a Peabody Award Monday for her CBS News Sunday Morning story about two female veterans who lost limbs in Iraq, it was a big step in her transition from blown-up journalist to journalist. Even sweeter, from Dozier’s perspective, is that the award has nothing to do with May 29, 2006, when a Baghdad car bomb seriously injured her and killed two CBS News colleagues and a U.S. Army captain out on a Memorial Day weekend story about the Iraq War. Associated Press reports.

Media Briefing for Tuesday, June 17, 2008

staff | June 17th, 2008

A federal judge ruled Monday that a White House office that has records about millions of possibly missing e-mails does not have to make them public. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly says the Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, enabling the George W. Bush White House to maintain the secrecy of a lengthy internal paper trail about its problem-plagued e-mail system. The decision came in a lawsuit filed against the administration by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a private group that has been trying to find out the extent of the White House’s e-mail problems for more than a year. Associated Press reports.

Luke Russert, Tim Russert’s only child, says he is keeping forever the chair his father used for his Meet The Press interviews on NBC, reports the New York Daily News. Luke does a sports show on XM satellite radio with Democratic political adviser James Carville.

There is a wake for Tim Russert from 2 to 9 p.m. today at Saint Albans School at Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues in Washington, D.C.

An announcer at 50,000 watt clear channel AM Rochester station WHAM 1180, host Bob Lonsberry, is being criticized for remarks he made about teenaged mothers who are receiving support to stay in school. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and WHEC-TV channel 10 Rochester report.

The McClatchy Company, one of the nation’s biggest newspaper chains, is cutting its work force by 10 percent, or around 1,400 people, after having already eliminated about 2,000 jobs over 18 months. The New York Times and Bloomberg News report. McClatchy is eliminating jobs and Gannett is cutting pensions, says Media Daily News.

The drug companies have adopted tighter advertising rules, saying it shows they can police themselves, says Advertising Age.

With the federally mandated switch to digital television just 8 months away (February 17, 2009), Univision Communications’ New York stations – WXTV channel 41 (Univision) and TeleFutura outlets WFUT channel 68 New York and WFTY channel 67 Smithtown, Long Island – are helping viewers prepare for the change with a two-hour public forum to be held Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Public School 24, at 427 38th Street in Brooklyn. TV Newsday reports.

CBS considered hiring MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann to replace Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, but ultimately decided upon Katie Couric, says the New York Times.

Local Web ad revenue in the year 2007 totalled $8.7 billion. Of that, TV stations accounted for 6.9 percent, while newspaper take was 24.6 percent and pure plays like Google and Craig’s List grabbed 57.3 percent. Gordon Borrell of Borrell Associates says his perspective has led him to form some strong opinions about how TV stations ought to be exploiting the Internet and they run counter to how most TV stations are now trying to do it. In an interview with TVNewsday editor Harry Jessell, Borrell contends that TV stations’ Web sites must be more than mere online extensions of their current brand and service. They must be freshly branded platforms that aim to be the No. 1 sources of all local information, including news, sports and weather as well as classifieds and directory listings, he says. TV Newsday reports.

Teenagers are learning from ads that appear on social networking Web sites, according to a study.Media Post.com reports.

In India, police have arrested 70 Sikh protesters after the MTV music channel’s office in western India was vandalized over posters showing a Sikh girl massaging a man, says Associated Press.

In Mosul, Iraq, an Iraqi reporter has been killed, reports Associated Press.

A general assignment reporter with Pittsburgh AM radio station KDKA 1020, Rob Milford, has been charged with bringing a loaded handgun into a courthouse, says Associated Press.

Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham speaks about her absence from the radio airwaves. The Washington Post reports.

A dissident Yahoo investor is advising Yahoo to compromise with billionaire investor Carl Ichan, reports Reuters.

MySpace has won another verdict against an alleged spammer, says Associated Press.

Making ‘social technologies’ work for you – engaging with consumers online carries opportunities as well as risks, says the Los Angeles Times.

MagicJack, a cheap personal computer gadget for Internet calls, is selling well, says Associated Press.

Venezuela is probing the death of a journalist, says Associated Press.

Associated Press reviews Sunday’s Meet The Press which profiled the life of its moderator, Tim Russert.

There is now a search underway for answers in Tim Russert’s death, says the New York Times.

Tim Russert’s death has people seeking advice about heart disease, says the Buffalo News.

Who will replace Tim Russert? The Washington Post reports.

Tim Russert had an unlikely path to TV stardom, says Associated Press.

Raul Alarcon Sr. owned a group of stations in Cuba that were taken over by Fidel Castro’s government in 1960, so he came to the United States and became an air personality at New York AM station WBNX 1380, and then founded the Spanish Broadcasting System, a national group of radio stations that includes New York FM stations WPAT-FM 93.1 and WSKQ 97.9. The New York Daily News reports.

Despite FCC chairman Kevin Martin’s endorsement of the Sirius – XM satellite radio merger, the merger is not assured, says the Los Angeles Times. The New York Times and Bloomberg News look at FCC chairman Kevin Martin’s decision to support the merger of Sirius and XM satellite radio.

The proposed XM – Sirius merger is under attack by black congressmen, says the Washington Post.

Radio revenues dropped in May, says Media Daily News.

Frontline is presenting an intimate look at young people in China, tonight at 9 on Thirteen/WNET and PBS. The Boston Globe reviews the telecast.

Retirement Living TV has laid off 47, say the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Sun.

Tony Schwartz, who helped create the infamous “daisy ad” that played on fears of nuclear war, and which ran only once during the 1964 presidential race but changed political advertising forever, has died. Schwartz, 84, died Sunday at his Manhattan home, said his daughter. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Associated Press report.

Hollywood is getting cozy with the automobile makers, with cars being placed within the movies, says Newsday.

What’s the point of the Cannes ad fest? AdWeek reports.

Media Briefing for Monday, June 16, 2008

staff | June 16th, 2008

In this political campaign, think the gender war is over? Think again! The macho presence is once again being demanded as qualities for an American president by conservatives and many in the media. From 1853 to 1958, a massive marble statue stood on the steps of the U.S.Capitol. The monument featured a gigantic white pioneer in a buckskin coat holding a nearly naked Indian in a death’s grip, while off to the side a frail white woman crouched over her infant. Now, in 2008, the attacks are already under way, as is evident if one enters the words “Obama” and “effeminate” into a search engine. The effeminacy canard lurks in Mike Huckabee’s imaginings of Barack Obama tripping off a chair and diving for the floor when confronted by a gunman, and in the words of Tucker Bounds, John McCain’s campaign spokesman, who depicted Obama as “hysterical.” News media blatherers and bloggers are taking up the theme. On MSNBC, Tucker Carlson called Obama “kind of a wuss.” Joe Scarborough, the morning MSNBC TV talk show host, dubbed Obama’s bowling style “prissy” and declared, “Americans want their president, if it’s a man, to be a real man.” Don Imus, the radio host, never one to be outdone in the sexual slur department, dubbed Obama a “sissy boy.” Will such attacks succeed? The New York Times reports.

Internet service providers are threatening to place limits on the online activity of their most active subscribers. The New York Times reports.

For the children of today, it’s an on-demand world in which they can record and watch shows when they wish, says the Boston Globe.

A Missouri woman accused of taking part in a MySpace hoax that ended with a 13-year-old girl’s suicide has so far avoided state charges – but not federal ones. The woman, 49-year-old Lori Drew, a neighbor of the dead teenaged girl, is to make an appearance in federal court in Los Angeles, accused of one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to get information used to inflict emotional distress. The charges were filed in California where MySpace is based. MySpace is a subsidiary of Beverly Hills-based Fox Interactive Media Inc., which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Lori Drew, of suburban Saint Louis, allegedly helped create a fake MySpace account to convince the teenaged girl, Megan Meier, that she was chatting with a nonexistent 16-year-old boy named “Josh Evans.” The teenaged girl hanged herself at home in October 2006, allegedly after receiving a dozen or more cruel messages, including one stating the world would be better off without her. Lori Drew has denied creating the account or sending messages to Meier. This report is from Associated Press.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica is opening its online pages. Soon you, your family, friends – and even the eccentric man down the street – can publish in the venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica. Britannica is opening its online pages to the masses, inviting public postings. Save any trivia about SpongeBob SquarePants for Wikipedia. But if you want to contribute, by name, to the history of Queen Elizabeth I, Britannica is interested. “By inviting a larger range of people to contribute and collaborate, we can produce more coverage,” said Britannica spokesman Tom Panelas. “People in the community can contribute to the improvement of Encyclopaedia Britannica.” Its adoption of an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” philosophy, quietly unveiled this month, is seen as heresy by some. Britannica is considered a staid but reliable source of scholarship compared to the wild, woolly – and sometimes inaccurate – world of Internet publishing. Though Britannica made no reference to upstart competitor Wikipedia.org, the strategy is unmistakable, said writer Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur. “Britannica is chasing Wikipedia.” The San Jose Mercury News reports.

The Miami Herald is cutting its staff by 250, or 17%.

Americans are tired of super-short sound bites on television that are repeated over-and-over, and are turning to the Internet to learn the full picture, says Associated Press.

The Associated Press is setting guidelines for use of its articles by bloggers, reports the New York Times.

HD radio’s secondary music channels cover far smaller areas than the primary analog FM station. Now, some 18 broadcast companies are asking for power increases for the HD stations, which currently broadcast at only 1% of the analog station power. The FCC mandated that to make sure they wouldn’t interfere with analog signals. Now, a group of 18 broadcasters, four equipment makers and Ibiquity are saying the HD signals don’t go as far and have a harder time penetrating buildings, and should be permitted to operate at 10% of the analog station’s power. All Access.com reports. (scroll down)

Barack Obama says media consolidation has gone too far, reports Broadcasting & Cable.

Former FCC commissioner James Quello, a former top executive with Detroit 50,000-watt AM clear channel station WJR 760, before serving as FCC commissioner in the 1980s, is opposing proposals to impose localism requirements on local broadcasters, according to a statement by him for the Texas Association Of Broadcasters.

The nation needs a government as smart as its cellular telephones, says the Washington Post.

The Yahoo – Google ad deal is coming under criticism from multiple quarters, says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Since the Wall Street Journal was acquired by Rupert Murdoch, has it gotten better? Slate reports.

With Tim Russert’s sudden death, NBC must now replace him. CBS veteran Bob Schieffer says it may take 4 or 5 people to replace him, reports the New York Times.

Politicians across the nation are reacting to the death of Tim Russert, say Associated Press, the Boston Globe,

NBC is mourning the death of Tim Russert, says Media Daily News.

There was a candlelight vigil last night for Tim Russert in the Buffalo area, at Tim Russert Park in West Seneca. Yesterday was designated Tim Russert Day in the city of Buffalo. The Buffalo News reports.

Tim Russert and his New York state background and ties are examined by the New York Times.

Tim Bussert’s death leaves multiple voids, says Hollywood Reporter.

Tim Russert leaves big shows to fill, says the New York Daily News.

Tim Russert was eulogized in a teary eulogy broadcast, says the New York Daily News.

Tim Russert’s great gift to his father 4 years ago, was the book Big Russ about the relationships between fathers and sons. The Buffalo News reports.

Columnist and commentator David Broder speaks about Tim Russert, in the Washington Post.

TV Columnist Tom Shales speaks about Tim Russert, in the Washington Post.

For Tim Russert, success began with lessons from home, says the Buffalo News.

Tim Russert revolutionized and revitalized Sunday morning political talk shows, says the Washington Post.

A passion for politics propelled Tim Russert, says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Through Republican revolution and Republican collapse, the rise and fall of the Houses Clinton and Bush, one war in Afghanistan and two in Iraq, Tim Russert has remained a center of gravity in the national discourse every Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. The New York Times reports.

Just some of the reaction to Tim Russert’s death has been collected by Associated Press.

Barbara Walters looks back on her career in her new book, says the New York Times.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is profiled by the New Yorker.

NBC is trying to close the deal to take over the Weather Channel, says the New York Times

Starting next month, RCN cable in Massachusetts is dropping analog channels to make room for all digital broadcasting, says the Boston Globe.

The embattled general manager of Boston NBC affiliate WHDH channel 7 has resigned, says the Boston Globe.

Two movies are being planned about former Providence, Rhode Island mayor Vincent Ciani, convicted of felonies and imprisoned, and who is now a radio talk show host on Rhode Island’s strongest signal AM station, WPRO 630. Associated Press reports.

Who altered British television? Dr. Who, says the New York Times.

The social networking site MySpace might have friends, but its owner, Rupert Murdoch, wants ad money, says the New York Times.

Rogue computers are being used to ad fraud, says the New York Times.

Small publishers are feeling the pwoer of Amazon’s “buy” button, says the New York Times.

Some of the biggest technology companies have formed a group to fight information overload, reports the New York Times.

Motorola has shaken up its research labs and eliminated 120 people, says mocoNews.

Some are still clinging to hope for a Microsoft – Yahoo deal, says the New York Times.

A Web site, Life Hacker.com, offers tips and outside links to resources to help save money on gasoline, reports the New York Times.

In Poland, prosecutors have decided not to bring charges against a priest making public anti-semitic comments. Father Tadeusz Rydzyk has frequently been accused of fomenting anti-Semitism through his politically influential, ultra-conservative Catholic radio station, Radio Maryja, which broadcasts on many FM channels throughout Poland. Associated Press reports. Some of the station’s programming may be heard in Chicago on AM stations WNWI 1080 and WPNA 1490, and in Detroit on AM station WNZK 690

Former Saturday Night Live and Air America star Al Franken’s bid for the U.S. Senate has become somewhat of a cause c?l?bre among the show business set, with an impressive lineup contributing heavily to his Minnesota campaign. Media Daily News reports.

Cinema ads are seeing blockbuster growth, says Media Daily News.

Time War’s NY1 all news channel is squaring off against Verizon FiOS, says Media Daily News. Announcements point out NY1 is available only on Time Warner, not on Verizon Fios.

Broadcast networks are starting to do ad make-goods online, instead of the traditional broadcast, says Media Daily News.

The shift from traditional media to online media is contributing to the economic slowdown, according to Online Media Daily.

NBC is bringing the Oxygen cable TV network, which it acquired last year, totally into the fold, says the New York Times.

Brazil, Russia, India and China collectively have 1.2 billion mobile telephones, says eMarketer.

The Hollywood studios are editing their home video strategy, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The new studio for the 4-hour live morning news show at Milwaukee’s WITI channel 6 is profiled by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin will support the merger between New York-based Sirius and Washington-based XM satellite radio, say Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters, and Media Daily News. Conditions will include allowing a la carte subscriptions, says paidContent.

Media Briefing for Friday, June 13, 2008

staff | June 13th, 2008

The Ronald Reagan era was riding high two decades ago, and one of its casualties was the Fairness Doctrine, which ended 21 years ago, in 1987. It had required that broadcast stations present opposing points of view when airing controversial opinions on their airwaves. The end of the Fairness Doctrine meant the rise of the conservative talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and many others. Now, there are proposals in Congress to permanently ban any restoration of the Fairness Doctrine. Supporters of the ban are largely Republicans and opponents are largely Democratic. Conservative activist Gordon Norquist has established a Web site listing congressmen who have opposed any ban on the Fairness Doctrine, who have supported a total ban on restoring it, and congressmen who voted for a 1-year ban but have not supported a permanent ban, at least not yet. The site is Hypocrisy aucus.org. All Access reports. (scroll down)

FCC Democratic commissioner Jonathan Adelstein is calling for a further FCC crackdown on broadcast stations for indecency and violence. Speaking at Washington’s Media Institute Wednesday, FCC Commissioner Adelstein said, “I believe I speak for millions of parents when I say we?re overwhelmed, fed up and looking for help from the government and the industry alike.” Adelstein complained that the FCC ” has not done all it can to protect children in a legally sustainable and constitutionally permissible manner. The commission has failed to take some of the more basic steps. We have limited authority to protect children in this age of convergence. So wherever we have clear authority, we need to act … We are stuck in the mud on the railroad tracks with a freight train bearing down upon us. Standing still is not a good option. We need to find a way to get moving.” Saying that his own seven-year-old son had encountered a bloody, violent TV show that made Adelstein have to comfort him in the middle of the night, Adelstein criticized the FCC’s own report on violence for adding “little, if any, analysis to the debate. The report surely did not display the experience and informed judgment of an expert federal agency that has regulated media content over 70 years. Nor did it deal adequately with the constitutional dimensions of regulating violent content on free over-the-air TV, or subscription-based cable and satellite TV services.” All Access reports. (scroll down)

The media site DCRTV says that another round of cost-cutting employee buyouts is coming to the Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Times. As many as 28 people, about 10 percent of the Baltimore newsroom staff, and as many top-level managers are targeted. DCRTV says it is told: “Mother Tribune is about to lower the boom again on all its properties, but the biggest axe is likely to fall on the Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times is non-union, so no negotiations are necessary before buyout packages are distributed. And after counting bylines the Sam Zell people are convinced they could turn out as good a product on the West Coast with many fewer bodies. We’re being told the number in L.A. could be 200, or 25 percent of the newsroom staff.” Also, the physical size of the Baltimore Sun is about to shrink again. The paper will be about 1 and 1/2-inches narrower once the presses are reconfigured, DCRTV says.

Like other programmers, PBS is looking to the Web to increase viewership and advertising, according to Media Post.com.

Critics and news executive are split over whether there was sexism in the coverage of Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential primary season, reports the New York Times.

Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential hopeful is joining the Fox News Channel as a political commentator, say Broadcasting & Cable and the Washington Post.

A Democratic congressman from California has introduced a bill to regulate loud commercials on TV, says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Barack Obama says his wife never used the term “whitey” as conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been claiming on the air, reports Associated Press.

The Fox News Channel used a slur term to refer to Barack Obama’s wife, says the New York Times.

The Obama camp has created a special Web site, Fight The Smear.com to fight rumors planted by political dirty tricks committees, say the Boston Globe and New York Times.

CNN host Lou Dobbs isn’t saying whether he’s considering a run for New Jersey governor. But he’s also not shooting down the idea. State Republicans said Dobbs, who hosts CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight is renowned for commentary on national politics, especially illegal immigration, is rumored to be considering a run for governor next year.
The 62-year-old Dobbs lives on a 300-acre farm in Sussex County in rural northwestern New Jersey. Associated Press reports.

Ron Paul’s Web site says his Libertarian bid for the Republican presidential nomination is over, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In California, a “rebel” judge is in a controversy over a Web site he posted which features erotica, say the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Chronicle.

The chairman of the FCC, Kevin Martin, is proposing a plan to deal with the steep fees cellular telephone companies charge for ending service before the contract ends. Bloomberg News reports.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom says that citywide wireless Internet access is slowly becoming a reality despite political infighting – and that 144,000 residents will be surfing the Web for free by the end of the year at no cost to the city. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Come this fall, members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts will be able to go online to look up their healthcare claims and some medical records, which the insurer says will help patients manage their medical care and have more productive discussions with doctors. The feature is being offered through Google Health, the new healthcare Web portal recently opened by the Internet search giant based in Mountain View, California. Blue Cross-Blue Shield said it is the first health insurer to sign on to the service. The Boston Globe reports.

There is an ad accord between Google and Yahoo, say the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News and and the NewYork Times.

Yahoo has decided not to split its ad baby in two, says the New York Times.

More top Yahoo executives are heading for the exits, says the New York Times.

Yahoo became Microsoft’s takeover prey largely because Google established such a commanding lead in the Internet’s lucrative search advertising market. But after eluding Microsoft’s grasp, Yahoo is now turning to Google to help squelch a rebellion among its shareholders who believe it should have accepted Microsoft’s $47.5 billion buyout offer while it was still available last month. Associated Press reports.

The New York Times explains how to block cellular telephone spam.

The issue of social networking and spam is examined by eMarketer.

In opposing the FCC proposal for more localism obligations, the National Association of Broadcasters says there is no evidence broadcasters are not already serving viewers and listeners. TV Newsday reports.

Satellite operator Dish Network signed an agreement with Tribune to carry the HD version of WGN America, the cable network from “superstation” WGN-TV channel 9 Chicago, as well as the HD signals of Tribune’s 23 stations in 19 markets, including New York City CW affiliate WPIX channel 11. Broadcasting & Cable reports.

NBC Universal is looking at other locations in Manhattan and is considering selling sections of its Rockefeller Plaza properties, says the New York Post.

The sales of TV sets are being fueled by the transition to all-digital TV broadcasting in February, says TV Week.

Raul Alarcon, Sr., founder of the Spanish Broadcasting System, has passed away, reports Radio Ink. In New York the Spanish Broadcasting System stations are WPAT-FM 93.1 and WSKQ 97.9.

The television networks are firming up their planned schedules and lineups for the Democratic and Republican national conventions. PBS will be presenting live coverage of the official proceedings each evening, says the New York Times.

The cultural divide needs to be bridged as TV goes all digital, says the San Francisco Chronicle.

PBS needs to rethink its plan to reduce the number of episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood it provides to PBS affiliates, from 5 days to 1 day a week, says the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. (scroll down) Mister Rogers is seen weekday afternoons at 1 on WEDW channel 49 Bridgeport, Connecticut Public Television.

In Pittsburgh, Comcast is making some channel changes on its menu, so that MSNBC and the TV Guide channel will only be available on high-end digital channels, says the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

There is a major conference in Philadelphia later this month on the high anxiety levels about the end of analog and transition to all digital TV coming in February, reports TV Technology.com This is June 24 through 27 at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Canada is overhauling its copyright laws for the digital age, reports Reuters.

The Sci Fi Channel has pulled the program NYC Tornado Terror which had been scheduled to debut tomorrow evening at 9, in the wake of the boy scout tornado deaths in Iowa, says Broadcasting & Cable.

How to get the most out of a local TV station Web site is examined by TV Newsday.

NBC may be taking over the Web sites of its owned-and-operated local TV stations, says Silicon Alley.

An actors strike would spell big trouble for commercial television, says the Hollywood Reporter.

An effort by the Screen Actors Guild to defeat the AFTRA agreement is causing an internal rebellion by the New york members of the guild, says the Los Angeles Times.

WPIX channel 11 New York marks its 60th anniversary with special programming this weekend, says the New York Daily News.

The morning shock jock Opie of Opie & Anthony on New York FM station WXRK 92.3 talked a man out of suicide, reports the New York Daily News.

New York City NPR affiliates WNYC-AM 820 and WNYC-FM 93.9 are moving to new offices and studios in Manhattan, and many items are up for sale. Throngs of people have been showing up to buy items. The New York Daily News and New York Times report.

The compensation for executives of the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet are among the highest in media, says the Wall Street Journal.

The percentage of video consumed on a TV among video downloaders and streamers declined from 75% in February 2007 to 70% in February 2008, says Media Post.com.

A new private equity group is planning to what has been impossible up until now: restore Michael Jackson as a superstar, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Just as Laura Ingraham is about to start something new on Fox News Channel, the conservative talk show host is having some troubles in her current radio gig. The radio show has featured replacement hosts of late. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Media Briefing for Thursday, June 12, 2008

staff | June 12th, 2008

The FCC has fined an unlicensed pirate station in Boston called Touch FM 106.1, a local black community FM station. The station was fined $17,000 and listeners helped raise money to pay the fine. However the station operators also could face jail time. The station says it is filling the void left when WILD-FM 97.7, now WKAF, dropped its black format and started simulcasting the rock format of WAAF 107.3, Worcester/Boston. The Boston Globe reports. In Boston and the eastern Massachusetts area, most of the strong-signal FM stations are owned by national conglomerates, most of them based out-of-state. Texas-based Clear Channel owns WSRS 96.1, WJMN 94.5 and WXKS 107.9. New York-based CBS owns WBMX 98.5, WZLX 100.7, WODS 103.3 and WBCN 104.1. Pennsylvania-based Entercom owns WMKK 93.7, WKAF 97.7 and WAAF 107.3, and Greater Media, a national group now based in Boston, owns WBOS 92.9, WTKK 96.9, WKLB 102.5, WROR 105.7 and WMJX 106.7. That leaves almost no room for local community owned FM stations. The FCC originally was created by the government’s need to regulate frequencies and powers so stations did not interfere with eachother, and drown eachother out, so listeners could hear stations clearly.

The British scientist who invented the World Wide Web says that online-social systems could change the way science and even democratic government is conducted. Associated Press reports.

Barack Obama has set up a Web rumor response command center, to respond to rumors being circulated on the Internet, says the Chicago Tribune.

In Redding, California, Shasta High School published its last issue of the Volcano, the student newspaper, before the end of classes last week with an image on the front page of a student burning the American flag and an editorial inside defending the practice. The school administration’s reaction? “The paper’s done,” said Milan Woollard, Shasta High principal. “There is not going to be a school newspaper next year.” The Redding Record Searchlight reports.

David Mitton, creator of the children’s show Thomas The Tank Engine, seen on Thirteen/WNET Sunday mornings at 8 a.m., has passed away at age 69, says the New York Times.

A flashy Facebook page is bringing a cost to privacy. Add-ons to online social profiles are exposing personal data to strangers, says the Washington Post.

How one couple operates their marriage via email, is examined by the Wall Street Journal.

A leading cellular telephone company declined to charge the government the same expensive fees it charges consumers for canceling their contracts early, acknowledging that “the government will never, never accept such penalty amounts,” according to internal corporate e-mails obtained by Associated Press. The FCC is holding a hearing on the issue.

Some in Hartford’s Park Street community are trying to counter the image presented online and on TV repeatedly during the last week. It is the street that gave the world a view of Hartford as a city gone wild, where out-of-control motorists can blindside an elderly pedestrian in broad daylight while onlookers stand by and watch callously. But Julio Mendoza says the image of Park Street that has been replayed countless times on television news shows and over the Internet during the past week doesn’t represent the street he has worked to improve for more than a decade. The Hartford Courant reports.

The most influential Spanish-language radio broadcasters in the U.S., including the Spanish Broadcasting System, Entravision, Univision and Border Media Partners, have formed a coalition, the Spanish Radio Association, to voice concerns about Arbitron’s proposed rollout of the Portable People Meter (PPM) to gather radio ratings. Its chief concern: the potentially harmful impact the PPM could have as it relates to measuring Spanish-language media. Critics of PPM say it dramatically underestimates Spanish and black radio listenership. All Access.com reports. (scroll down) The Spanish Broadcasting Systems owns WPAT-FM 93.1 and WSKQ 97.9 in New York. Univision owns WADO-AM 1280 and WCAA 105.9 in New York, and WQBU 92.7 Garden City, Long Island.

Tribune’s decision to take away the Los Angeles Times Magazine from the editorial staff and hand it over to the business side is drawing wide criticism, says Media Daily News.

The ultra-conservative Parents Television Council has filed on behalf of the FCC, supporting the FCC policy of imposing huge fines when stations get out on the air, and when indecency is shown, such as a naked woman’s backside. This case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. TV Newsday reports.

A coalition of organizations has filed with the FCC in favor of the FCC’s proposal to increase localism obligations for broadcast stations, reports Broadcasting & Cable.

The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce is opposing the FCC’s proposed localism rules, says TV Newsday.

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, says Sirius satellite radio chairman Mel Karmazin may have misled Congress, reports the New York Post.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain is launching a national TV ad campaign, says TV Week.

It is likely that ABC will reshape its World News Web cast, says the Wall Street Journal.

Univision, the Spanish language TV network in the U.S., has launched a DTV ‘Squad’. Univision is sending ‘Street Teams’ to assist the Hispanic community with the digital-TV transition. Broadcasting & Cable reports. In New York the Univision affiliate is WXTV channel 41.

A U.S. Commerce Department official told members of the U.S. House that the FCC’s program for providing TV viewers with $40 coupons toward the purchase of Digital-to-Analog converter boxes may hit a snag. More money may be needed “basically to buy more stamps to send out coupons,” the official said. Reuters reports. Steep postage costs may be a reason for the delays, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

DirecTV’s steep cancellation fees are drawing media fire, says TV Predictions.

Companies that provide movies on the Internet are prodding Comcast to increase its uploading speeds, says the Houston Chronicle.

By 2013, U.S. consumers will spend as much time consuming video as they do sleeping – 8 hours a day – driven by more Personal Computer viewing over the next five years. That’s the finding of a new study from Solutions Research Group, says TV Week.

There is a new Web opera service, says Associated Press.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt says that the Internet search leader hopes its recently acquired advertising service DoubleClick will aid newspapers as they struggle to corral more online revenue. It’s a huge moral imperative to help here,” Schmidt says, according to Associated Press.

Cellular telephones are still “hot” and more mobile advertising is being proposed, reports Media Post.com.

Samsung has introduced a cellular telephone that is similar to the iPhone, says the New York Times.

Sprint’s new phone is an iPhone clone done right, says Associated Press.

At what age should the children get a cellular telephone and laptop computer? The New York Times examines this question.

The new iPhone pricing model is a step backward for consumers, says the New York Times.

Users of Apple’s iPhone are such search fanatics that they account for the majority of queries from mobile phones on Google. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Yahoo’s parachutes: billionaire investor Carl Ichan and Yahoo are arguing over Yahoo’s severance pay packages, says the New York Times.

The cofounder of Google has booked a flight to go into space, say Associated Press and the New York Times.

The technological spying devices depicted on the old Get Smart TV show are devices that millions of people have today with modern technology, says Associated Press.

Ever wonder what it would be like to work somewhere else? A Web site, Glass Door.com, offers an insider’s look at major employers. Associated Press and the San Francisco Chronicle report.

Find How.com, a new specialty search engine, is trying to become the Internet’s go-to spot for finding how-to advice. Associated Press reports.

In California, an obscenity trial has been suspended after the judge in the case has posted sexually explicit material online, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a key person in the making of a television series about the little town of Greensburg, Kansas which was totally destroyed by a tornado in May 2007, and is rebuilding, says the New York Times.

The housing slowdown is helping fixer-upper TV programs, says the New York Times.

PBS is going commercial on Hulu, reports the New York Times.

The Black Television News Channel, a new channel headed by ultra-conservative J.C. Watts, a former U.S. congressman from Oklahoma, is being launched by Comcast in various major markets, says Associated Press.

Neil MacNeil, among the first of the TV reporters on Congress, has passed away, says the New York Times. In 1964, MacNeil began delivering weekly news and comment about Congress on WETA channel 26, the public television station in Washington, D.C. His program, Neil MacNeil Reports, continued until 1967, when the station originated Washington Week in Review, on which Mr. MacNeil frequently appeared as a commentator.

Washington Redskins football team owner hopes the purchase of 3 Washington, D.C. AM stations, WTNT 570, WTEM 980 and WWRC 1260, will increase the profile of his team, reports the Washington Post.

Comedy Network Daily Show host Jon Stewart is as topical as ever in his standup role. He performs tomorrow evening at 8 at the Chevrolet Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut, says the Hartford Courant. When “accused” of being a journalist by Bill Moyers of PBS last year, Jon Stewart said “it’s all just comedy,” in an interview in the New Haven Advocate.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are no friends of the Clintons, says the International Herald Tribune.

Singer Nancy Sinatra – the daughter of Frank Sinatra – is strongly supporting radio royalties for music. The singer is backing a bill that would require radio stations to pay performers for playing their songs, says the Los Angeles Times.

The Television Advertising Bureau says satellite TV continues to eat into cable’s share, reports Media Daily News.

Media Briefing for Wednesday, June 11, 2008

staff | June 11th, 2008

Spying gadgets are everywhere, allowing thieves to steal personal identity information from residences, and others to find celebrities in potentially embarrassing moments, says the Wall Street Journal.

FCC Democratic commissioner Jonathan Adelstein says Media Consolidation equals Payola plus Propaganda. He says “we need to fight thinly disguised payola fueling homogenized corporate music that leaves no room for local and independent artists.” Commissioner Adelstein lit into consolidation and payola in a novel way in a speech in Minneapolis last weekend. To illustrate the far-reaching perniciousness of consolidation, Adelstein charged that the George W. Bush administration’s use of like-minded ex-military analysts to disseminate positive “spin” on the Iraq War on network, cable and radio programs could be a form of payola. He is demanding an investigation, saying, “the federal anti-propaganda and payola laws are grounded on the principle that the public is entitled to know who seeks to persuade them so they can make up their own minds about the credibility of the information presented.” he said “The public has a legal right to know that people who present themselves to be independent, unbiased experts and reporters are not shills hired to promote a corporate – or governmental – agenda.” Here is the full text of commissioner Adelstein’s remarks, at the FCC Web site. This report is from All Access. (scroll down)

A new study examines the behavior of children and adults online, including how they talk to strangers, and much more, says Media Post.com.

Some 62 months into the Iraq War, the estimated 90 American journalists in Iraq covering it are becoming jaded and cynical, says the New York Observer.

Mike Wallace who is now 90 will not be returning to 60 Minutes on CBS, where he has been a staple for many decades, according to his son Chris Wallace. One of his most noted features was his interview with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini while the American Embassy hostages were still being held in Iran. He also anchored a CBS documentary in 1967 called The Homosexuals, which then was such a taboo subject, there were no advertisers. Early in his career he had talk and interview programs on ABC, and anchored the evening news on New York’s channel 13, then WNTA-TV, when it was still a commercial station and had not yet been acquired by the Educational Broadcasting Corporation. Chris Wallace makes the statement in the U.S. News & World Report.

Longtime White House news correspondent Helen Thomas has been off the job for three weeks because of health problems, reports Editor & Publisher.

Should Congress define who is or is not a journalist? The Washington Post reports.

Three of the nation’s major Internet service providers, Sprint, Verizon and Time Warner, have agreed to block customer access to newsgroups and Web sites that are believed to offer child pornography, according to an agreement announced yesterday by the New York attorney general’s office. The agreements, which were hailed by child-welfare advocates as a significant step, push the service providers to take a more active role in monitoring what takes place over their lines. But by forcing providers to act as censors, the agreements may also violate the First Amendment, free-speech advocates say. The Washington Post reports.

The Los Angeles Times Magazine has been taken away from the editorial department and turned over to the business department, and has a new editor who comes from a TV home shopping network. Media Daily News, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times report.

With the Web and video phones and YouTube, moments in the presidential campaigns are available to the public almost instantaneously. The Washington Post reports.

Joseph Camp will be the new director of The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA-TV channel 26 Washington, D.C., has announced. With more than 34 years of public broadcasting experience at WETA-TV, Camp is a veteran director of news and public affairs programming for public broadcasting. Camp joined WETA in 1973 as a studio technician and technical director. One of his first assignments was as a cameraman at the U.S. Senate Watergate Committee hearings. He soon began directing many WETA productions, notably serving from 1983 to the present as the director of Washington Week and National Journal. DCRTV reports.

Shows from PBS will soon show up on the Hulu Internet video service. Including Nova, Carrier, Scientific American Frontiers, and Wired Science starting later this month, according to DCRTV>

The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are now being streamed on Hulu.com, says Media Daily News.

There is good news and bad news about the transition to all digital telecasting in February, according to the U.S. Government Accounting Office. Broadcasting & Cable reports.

Many viewers are unprepared for the switch to all-digital TV broadcasting, says the Washington Post.

Not hundreds of thousands, but millions will need converter boxes for digital TV, says the Albany Times Union.

The transition to all digital TV broadcasting and end to analog telecasting could affect one-third of U.S. households, says MultiChannel News.

Could Jacksonville, Florida be the next digital TV transition test market? At a hearing on the DTV transition in the U.S. House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee Monday, Republican congressman Cliff Stearns said he thinks the city of Jacksonville would be willing to be the second city to pull the plug on analog early. Broadcasting & Cable reports.

Many TV converter boxes for digital television are expiring before they get used, says the Associated Press.

Some 15,000 members of the media will be descending on Denver, Colorado for the Democratic national convention, reports the Denver Post.

The local, live show Northwest Afternoon is being terminated by KOMO-TV channel 4 Seattle in August, the victim of ratings losses to the nationally syndicated Doctor Phil and Rachel Ray shows, says the Seattle Times.

A decision by the FCC on the merger between Sirius and XM could be delayed until July, because FCC chairman Kevin Martin is making a trip to Asia, says The Deal.com.

Some iPhone watchers are focused not on what the new iPhone offers, but what it lacks. The New York Times reports.

The new iPhone is tough on unlockers, says Associated Press.

Is Apple turning the Personal Computer world upside down? The New York Times reports.

Is a new digital video service derailing Amazon.com? The New York Times reports.

Television broadcasters are faring surprisingly well in advertising sales, says the New York Times.

U.S. News & World Report plans to publish biweekly and expand its consumer focus, says the New York Times.

The documentary Anyone and Everyone looks at how various couples take the news that their child is gay, telling some truly moving stories of the power of parental love. The film is now receiving sporadic showings on PBS stations, says the New York Times.

John McCain asserts that he hates war, in his new campaign TV ad, reports the Boston Globe. Earlier this campaign season, McCain received criticism after mockingly singing “Bomb Bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beachboys 1960s hit “Barbara Ann.”

A Filipino television crew is believed to have been kidnapped, says the New York Times.

The conservative Fox News Channel has new faces for its 5 p.m. weekday hour, says the New York Times.

Laura Ingraham remains off the air for the moment, and neither she nor syndicator Talk Radio Network are saying why she’s been absent. A message briefly posted on Ingraham’s web page but removed Monday said, “Important Note To Laura Listeners: Due to contractual obligations, for the present time I am unable to reveal why I am not currently hosting The Laura Ingraham Show. Rest assured, this absence is not of my choosing, nor is it health or family-related. I am ready, willing and eager to continue the conversation we started seven years ago about politics and the culture. Heck, if cancer couldn’t keep me off the airwaves for long, nothing will.” All Access reports. (scroll down)

Some 150 CBS radio stations are now being streamed online on AOL, says Media Daily News.

Radio airplay increases record sales, according to a new study. Media Week reports.

The Dallas Morning News is offering a new, free mini-newspaper, reports the Dallas Business Journal.

The FCC has proposed a $4,000 fine on Proactive Communications for airing a telephone call without permission from the other party on FM station KQQB 104.5 Newport, Washington. The incident on March 27, 2006 involved station personality DJ Dick telling listeners to call a local hotel and fictitious room number where 50 Cent was supposedly staying and ask the rapper to call the station. When the hotel manager called the station to complain, the call was taped and aired on the show without the manager’s permission. The station, formerly Top 40-Rhythmic, and its sister oldies FM station KAZZ 107.1 went silent earlier this month, on June 5. All Access reports. (scroll down)

Media Briefing for Tuesday, June 10, 2008

staff | June 10th, 2008

NBC Middle East correspondent Richard Engel says he has been under tremendous pressure to present a more positive picture of the Iraq War. In his new book, War Journal, Engel recounts the toll of his five years in Iraq. NBC’s bureau was bombed by terrorists, moved to a new location and bombed again. And he hasn’t left the conflict behind: Two weeks ago, he found himself in the midst of an extended gun battle in Sadr City. Beyond the physical risks, he also had to defend himself in the media echo chamber. Engel says he and other correspondents once again came under attack in 2006 and 2007 from bloggers and radio hosts who wanted a more positive portrait of the war. The Washington Post reports.

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) has come to the FCC’s support in the indecency battle, filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on the FCC’s policy of fining stations for indecency and swear words. In its briefing, the NRB says that the Second Circuit court’s reversal of the fines for Fox network’s Billboard Music Awards telecasts, showed a “callous disregard for the powerful influence, for good or evil, of the medium of television on the hearts and minds of America’s children.” The NRB cited the protection of children as a basis for regulating speech, and argued that the court should not have required the FCC to demonstrate how children were harmed by the broadcast of fleeting expletives. Fox’s reply is due July 2, but the network may ask for more time to file its brief, says All Access.com.

Apple has unveiled a cheaper and faster iPhone. The Boston Globe, New York Times and Los Angeles Times report.

AT&T says Apple’s new low price for the iPhone will move it to the mass market. The New York Times reports.

A chronological timetable of Steve Jobs’ unveiling of the iPhone is presented by the New York Times.

AT&T is targeting business customers with the new iPhone, says the New York Times.

AT&T is betting on the iPhone, says the Wall Street Journal.

Sprint is battling AT&T and the new Apple iPhone with a new Samsung device, says the New York Times.

Smartphones are now ringing for women, says the New York Times.

The Blackberry is getting some competition, says the Chicago Tribune.

Social networking on the Internet may be the rage among Generation Y, but Baby Boomers have yet to join in, says eMarketer.

Scientists have unveiled the world’s fastest supercomputer, says Associated Press.

The Web is the # 2 advertising medium, behind direct mail, says Media Post.com.

The polls are open for Yahoo shareholders, as the company has mailed out ballots for the upcoming board election that could determine whether Yahoo remains and independent company. The San Jose Mercury News reports.

Virtual business meetings done via the Internet raise the risk of embarrassing faux pas, says the Wall Street Journal.

Internet sites will block sites with child porn, says the New York Times.

A Boston Globe deputy is taking the helm at the Christian Science Monitor, reports the Boston Globe.

There is a transfer of control at the Los Angeles Times Magazine, says the New York Times.

HBO is presenting a summer of documentaries, says the Los Angeles Times.

CNN is working to keep its political winning streak going, says the Los Angeles Times.

A Somali journalist who was murdered over the weekend is being remembered, says Associated Press.

There will be less Mister Rogers on PBS. Stations soon will be receiving only one episode a week, says the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Mister Rogers Neighborhood is seen weekday afternoons at 1 on WEDW channel 49 Bridgeport, Connecticut Public Television.

The ultra-conservative Parents Television Council is urging CBS affiliates around the country to pre-empt Swingtown, seen Thursday nights at 10, says TV Newsday.

AOL has revamped its online radio service, and has added CBS radio stations, reports Associated Press.

As FCC officials campaign to offer the facts about DTV reception, millions of over-the-air viewers are going to be faced next February with a harsh reality: install a sophisticated new outdoor antenna or subscribe to a pay-TV service. Broadcast Engineering reports.

The U.S. House Of Representatives is examining the progress on the transition to all digital TV broadcasting February 17, says Associated Press.

KOMO-TV channel 4 Seattle has cancelled its local live Northwest Afternoon after a 24-year-run, says the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

The Fox network will be bringing the Canadian show Little Mosque On The Prairie to the U.S., reports the Hollywood Reporter.

The CW network’s Sunday nights have been farmed out, says the Los Angeles Times. In New York the CW affiliate is WPIX channel 11.

Twentieth Television is planning to shoot a pilot for a potential court show featuring the former U.S. senator Alfonse D’Amato from New York. D’Amato would be encouraged to bring his own brand of humor and larger-than-life personality to the bench. A Republican who served in the Senate from 1981 to 1999, D’Amato was known for his lengthy and at times comical filibusters on the Senate floor, one of which found him singing “South of the Border.” The Hollywood Reporter reports.

DirecTV satellite TV will start carrying Azteca Mexico in the U.S., says Media Daily News.

A man came into an Atlanta, Georgia AM station, WFTD 1080, Atlanta Radio Korea, and detonated an explosive device, severely injuring himself and also injuring another man, reports WXIA-TV channel 11 News.

Former Air America talk show host Al Franken has won the Democratic U.S. senatorial nomination in Minnesota, and he and his Republican opponent, incumbent Norm Coleman, are already exchanging barbs, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Former WABC-AM 770 talk host Ron Kuby has made his debut on the Air America radio network, and is heard in New York on WWRL 1600 from 3 to 6 p.m., says the New York Daily News.

Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity is talking about a new contract, says the New York Daily News.

A flood of weather coverage on Milwaukee local TV stations was the right call this time, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Mike Wallace is in a hospital recuperating after a fall in his New York home. It comes on the heels of a triple bypass surgery in January. “He’s doing really well,” says his son Chris Wallace, who adds that his dad still hopes to be healthy enough to spend the summer in Martha’s Vineyard. Newsblues reports.

LIN has created a Web show for its New Haven stations, ABC affiliate WTNH channel 8 and CW affiliate WCTX channel 59, to help potential advertisers with buying ads. TV Newsday reports.

Media Briefing for Monday, June 9, 2008

staff | June 9th, 2008

Bill Moyers gave the keynote address at the National Conference for Media Reform this past weekend in Minneapolis, where more than 3500 participants gathered to discuss ways to bring more democracy to American media. “Democracy without honest information creates the illusion of popular consent while enhancing the power of the state and the privileged interests protected by it. Democracy without accountability creates the illusion of popular control while offering ordinary Americans only cheap tickets to the balcony, too far away to see that the public stage has become just a reality TV set,” Moyers said. “Nothing more characterizes corporate media today, mainstream and partisan, than disdain toward the fragile nature of modern life and indifference toward the complex social debate required of a free and self-governing people.” Among other speakers at the conference were Dan Rather and Arianna Huffington. At the conference, Moyers was confronted by a producer from the Fox News program, The O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly, who has long been antagonistic to both Moyers and public broadcasting. In a widely circulated video clip, Moyers is seen handling the ambush with humor and class.

The creator of the infamous Willie Horton ad in 1988 is now taking on Barack Obama, and has a Web site, Expose Obama.com, reports Reuters.

Alternative newspapers and their Web sites are widely read in suburbia, says Media Post.com.

Has consolidation been good for radio? Radio listenership is down 14% in the past decade, especially among teenagers and college students, say the New York Times and Media Daily News.

The televangelists and fundamentalist radio preachers are still wary of John McCain, say the New York Times and Washington Post.

John McCain has launched hit first TV campaign ad, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The conservative magazine Newsmax says the liberals in Congress are trying to bring an end to the conservative radio talk shows such as those of Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage.

FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein is calling for an FCC investigation of the use of retired generals by the George W. Bush administration to appear on the networks to promote pro-Iraq War points of view. Broadcasting & Cable reports.

Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather ripped traditional news organizations Sunday, saying that in a world of merged media, there is no longer incentive to do “good and valuable news.” Speaking in Minneapolis at the National Conference For Media Reform, sponsored by Free Press, Rather referred to the criticisms of White House press secretary Scott McClellan that the media, including himself, were “complicit enablers” in the war in Iraq. His 20-minute speech has been posted on YouTube. Broadcasting & Cable reports.

FCC commissioner Michael Copps is calling for a new era of media democracy, reports Broadcasting & Cable.

The FCC role in the relationship between networks and stations is ending, says TV Week.

The New York Times’ WQXR 96.3 has introduced a new program on books, “Inside The New York Times Book Review, airing Friday evenings at 6:05 p.m., reports Editor & Publisher.

It’s the golden age for television – on cable, says the New York Times.

The head of CBS News says Bob Schieffer will not be replacing Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News, reports Broadcasting & Cable.

With the transition to all-digital TV broadcasting in February, and the end of analog telecasting, more channels are on the way, reports the New York Times.

The top executives of Clear Channel Communications are working to ensure they have plenty of cash on hand when they take over the company, making it a privately held company. The Wall Street Journal reports.

NBC television has booked $1.9 billion in advertising already for the fall season, says the Wall Street Journal.

Edwin Tornberg, pioneer of ethnic and multi-language radio in the Washington, D.C. area, whose formula began with AM station WUST 1120, has passed away, says the Washington Post.

Click & Clack’s As the Wrench Turns is the upcoming PBS cartoon featuring Car Talk stars Tom and Ray Magliozzi. The Boston Globe reports. The telecast premieres Wednesday night, July 9, at 10 on Thirteen/WNET.

One viewer says no to the high of high definition TV, says the Boston Globe.

As more Internet sites offer more broadcast programming, cutting the cord with cable TV might not be as hard as it sounds, says the Boston Globe.

Haven’t jumped on the iPod bandwagon yet? Here’s a look at some of your MP3 options, from Apple to Zune, in the Boston Globe.

A wide selection of music has ended at the Internet site Last FM, reports the New York Times.

Films with limited release are finding a home on the Web, says the New York Times.

Former U.S. Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor is promoting Web-based civics lessons, says the New York Times.

Many believe instant messaging is quicker than telephoning, meeting in person, or even emailing, says the New York Times.

The Internet is at a crossroads. Broadcasting & Cable reports.

Amazon.com was briefly knocked offline, says Reuters.

Microsoft is closing a classified ad site, Windows Live Expo, that had been seen as a competitor of Craigs List, says Dow Jones.

Highlighting the diminishing power of recording labels, Wal-Mart is stepping into the breach and making deals directly with artists. The NewYork Times reports.

There is uncertainty as the Tribune Co. plans to retrench, say the New York Times and Media Daily News.

As if it’s not hard enough to summarize a story in six or seven words, CNN.com has a new test for editors: is the headline witty enough to be worn on a T-shirt? The New York Times reports.

Billionaire investor Carl Ichan’s campaign to have Yahoo accept a takeover by Microsoft, poses big risks for himself, says the Los Angeles Times.

For the new citizen journalists of the Internet age, all bets are off, and there are discussions about what constitutes ethical journalistic behavior, says the New York Times.

In California, it will soon be illegal to hold a cellular telephone up to your ear while driving, but it will be acceptable to speak if the cell phone is not in the driver’s hand, says the Los Angeles Times.

Steve Jobs is ringing in Apple’s new iPhone, report the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, and San Francisco Chronicle.

Will the iPhone 2.0 be enough for the U.S.” The Boston Globe reports.

Sales of smart phones in North America doubled in the first quarter, says Associated Press.

Patient Web sites are used for news and for support in crisis, says Associated Press.

Will flash memory cards be the next compact disc? The San Jose Mercury News reports.

The Sony Internet TV module tunes into YouTube, says Associated Press.

A TV host in Japan is the world’s busiest, according to Guinness. Associated Press reports.

How did the new media affect the Hillary Clinton campaign? The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A video of drug use by Broadcom’s co-founder Henry Nicholas was posted on YouTube, reports the Los Angeles Times.

A Web site, Money Aisle, allows banks to compete for customers, says the Boston Globe.

The Internet and technology are helping China’s earthquake victims be in touch with relatives and friends, says the Washington Post.

Nielsen says talk of the death of the :30 second ad is greatly exaggerated, reports the Media Daily News.

The leaders of the number 2 U.S. actors union – the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – have approved a TV contract, say Associated Press and Reuters.

The Columbus Sports Network has suspended operations after little more than a year, says the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch.

In Buffalo, why has Eyewitness News on WKBW channel 7 gone from three decades of dominance as number one, to third place? The Buffalo News reports.

Tonight at 9 on HBO, the documentary movie Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired, about the director of the movies Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown who fled to France more than 3 decades ago as a fugitive from justice. It is reviewed by the Boston Globe, New York Daily News, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, TV Barn(scroll down), and Associated Press.

A multi-part documentary on space exploration is running this week on the Discovery Channel, says the Washington Post.

Meerkat Manor returns for a new season Friday night at 9 on Animal Planet, says the Los Angeles Times.

The new Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. needs editing and passion, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Montreal’s 50,000 watt clear channel AM station CINW 940 is dropping news and talk Friday, and switching to an oldies format, says All Access. The station can be heard over the northeastern U.S. and over eastern Canada during hours of darkness.

Media Briefing for Friday, June 6, 2008

staff | June 6th, 2008

A plan by the nation’s top telecommunications regulator to provide free wireless high-speed Internet service hit a snag this week over concerns about possible interference and a proposed censoring feature that upset free speech advocates, reports Associated Press.

Chicago PBS station WTTW channel 11 has received a bomb threat after airing a documentary about gay history, Out And Proud In Chicago, says Midwest Business.

Illinois U.S. Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, the top House Republican on the subcommittee investigating the FCC, says it is unlikely the probe will uncover wrongdoing by Republican FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. MultiChannel News reports.

Total Web site user data for April, including detailed findings for viewers and advertisers in the Current Events and Global News categories, as well as Online video viewers and brands. Media Post reports.

The number of TV channels watched by viewers has fallen to its lowest percentage ever, says Media Daily News

The Tribune Co. newspapers are planning sharp cutbacks, says the New York Times.

Tribune’s new owners will be able to meet their debt, says the Los Angeles Times.

Sam Zell and Randy Michaels of the Tribune Co. have sent a memo to Tribune newspapers employees, saying the newspapers are too large, and should be reduced in size so they are 50% editorial and 50% advertising, according to the >a href=http://poynter.org/forum/view_post.asp?id=13378>Poynter Institute.

Reporters and writers at the Los Angeles Times produce 51 inches of copy a year while those at the Hartford Courant produce 300 inches a year, and Tribune Co. COO Randy Michaels says reporters at the large papers should be producing as much as those at smaller ones, reports Editor & Publisher.

In September, analog TV broadcasting comes to an end in Wilmington, North Carolina, with local stations starting transmissions in all-digital and digital only. Only 18% of viewers in the market are aware analog broadcasting comes to an end. To remedy the situation and increase awareness, there are radio announcements featuring FCC chairman Kevin Martin and FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein and also billboards have been placed at strategic locations in the area. Broadcasting & Cable reports.

The head of the FCC says the FCC will hopefully act soon on the merger of Sirius and XM satellite radio, report Reuters and the Milwaukee Journal.

The National Association of Broadcasters wants satellite TV companies to be required to carry both analog and digital TV transmissions of broadcast stations, says Broadcasting & Cable.

The Long Island daily newspaper Newsday says it is cutting some of its home delivery agents to save money.

Coverage of George W. Bush’s possible plans to attack Iran before leaving office is not receiving any media attention, even though in his new book, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan says that once Bush makes up his mind, he will not be deterred. The Boston Phoenix reports.

NBC reports robust upfront ad sales, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Verizon is buying Alltel for about $28 billion, including the assumption of debt, creating the nation’s largest cellular telephone provider. The New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg News,and Los Angeles Times report. Alltel customers are worried, says Associated Press.

Henry T. Nicholas III, the flamboyant co-founder and former chief executive of the chip maker Broadcom, has been indicted in California on fraud, conspiracy and drug charges, including allegations that he spiked the drinks of other executives with ecstasy. The New York Times reports.

In a wide-ranging interview Howard Stringer, Sony’s chief executive, discussed the challenges of running a company that produces both consumer electronics and entertainment content that runs on those devices. The New York Times reports.

Yahoo is trying to move past takeover status, says the New York Times.

More technology means less good TV, says Associated Press.

Arrest History.com. is a Web site listing information on all arrests in the state of Connecticut. It is operated by New England Computer Forensics in Hamden, Connecticut, and overseen by a retired police officer. There is a fee of $250 allowing unlimited use of the site for one year.

Comcast says that by early 2010 it plans to offer consumers in most of its markets Internet service so fast they will be able to download a high-definition movie in minutes. The nation’s second-largest Internet service provider – and biggest cable TV operator – will deploy a technology capable of delivering up to 100 megabits of data or more per second in 20 percent of its markets by the end of 2008, says Associated Press.

Turkmenistan has begun allowing private citizens to connect to the Internet, the latest sign that the reclusive Central Asian nation is opening up. Associated Press reports.

The phenomenon of teenaged students sending nude pictures of themselves on cell phone transmissions has become nationwide, says Associated Press

After 84 years, WNYC is cutting a cord with the city of New York, and has left the Municipal Building for new studios for WNYC-AM 820 and WNYC-FM 93.9, says the New York Times.

The U.K.’s Channel 4 is overhauling its mobile site, says mocoNews.

The New York Daily News looks at positive in local newscasts on New York City TV stations.

WPIX channel 11 New York and WTNH channel 8 New Haven are both 60 years old. Both stations came on the air June 15, 1948. WPIX has had the same call letters since the very beginning, and is marking the anniversary with a marathon of programming starting Saturday, June 14.

A new study says the TV and movie writers strike will cost California’s economy $2 billion, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The Dutch navigational company TomTom sealed its arduous $4.3 billion takeover bid of digital mapmaker and navigational company <a href=http://www.teleatlas.com/index.htmTele Atlas, says Associated Press.

Disney has created a Google earth map of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Associated Press and the Orlando Sentinel report.

The morning host on Chicago all-sports AM radio station WSCR 670, Mike North, believes people make too much of his seven-figure salary. He once chided a reporter for his frequent mentions of North’s $1.5 million annual take.
But with his contract at WSCR set to expire July 1 and rumors swirling that he could lose his morning gig, money remains a huge topic on his show, says the Chicago Tribune.

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