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Remembering 9/11 at WNET

By Michael Hurtig
Thursday, September 8th, 2011

It is hard to believe that a decade has passed, because the memories are still so fresh.

Taken almost exactly two months before the attacks. Front row, left to right: Greg Anderson, Charlotte Ackert, Bill Baker, Mario Biazan, Kate Marron, unidentified, Kathy Rae. In the back, left to right: Terrel Cass, Don McGregor, Josh Weston, unidentified, unidentified, Ken Devine

On the morning of September 11th, we were all at our desks on 33rd street.

All except for Rod Coppola, our beloved station engineer, who was on duty near the antennas at the top of the North Tower.  After the attacks began, Rod was in touch with our master control room on 33rd street.  He told them something had happened, and that he was going out to take a look.  That was the last we heard from him.  Rod was a wonderful employee and a good man and he is still very much missed.  I will never forget his hospitality every time I came to see him and the technology at the top of the North Tower, which was often.  Here is a moving piece on all the TV engineers who lost their lives on that day.

That day, as the towers and the world we had known came down around us, I realized we had a choice.  Read More …

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Hurricane Irene Update: video from New Zealand

By Michael Hurtig
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The conversation I had with the reporter from New Zealand us up online!

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“… Art is too important to leave to the detached”

By Michael Hurtig
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Bad reviews matter just as much as good ones, argues Jason Zinoman at The New York Times Arts blog.

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Weekly media briefing September 4 – September 10

By Michael Hurtig
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Think people are unwilling to pay for online content?  Mobile data was worth about $734 million last year in the UK alone.

The Internet is the new black, according to fashion designer Nicole Miller, who shifted her whole ad budget online this year.

Read More …

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New York area Irene coverage: tempest in a teacup

By Michael Hurtig
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Hurricane Isabel, wikimedia commons

I’m writing this on an iPad with the power still off at my home in Riverside, CT.  This is the third day without power, phone and Internet.  We came within inches of a flooded basement, had three feet of water in the driveway, and there are still lots of tree limbs on the lawn.  But that’s it for damage.

Yet my adult daughter and my wife, who were glued to the TV leading up to the storm, had pictured us all standing on the roof of our house surrounded by forty feet of water waiting for a helicopter to airlift us to safety.  The Weather Channel reports were the most histrionic.  One actually said that Irene would be “the worst storm we will see in our lifetime.”

I never thought for a moment that our lives would be at risk. Read More …

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Weekly Media Briefing for August 29th – September 2nd

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, August 29th, 2011

Google’s Eric Schmidt is delivering a speech at Edingburgh’s Television Festival next week, and is expected to outline the company’s plan to make a splash with GoogleTV in the U.K.

What would the news look like if PR firms could do whatever they wanted online?  For the Chinese, this is not a hypothetical question.

Why booming e-book sales are actually bad news for publishers, at least for now.

Here’s something nobody expected: non-profit news is getting MORE ideologically polarized, not less, says Pew.

Wal-Mart has become a major player in online movie rentals and downloads.

The death of books has been greatly exaggerated, says Lloyd Shepherd in a sane and cheerful article for the Guardian.

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Weekly Media Briefing for August 22nd – 26th

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Bids for Hulu are still coming in, and numbers between 500 million and 2 billion are expected. The site’s instance as joint venture between media majors has brought access to many hours of premium content, however it has also created many conflicts of  interest. Potential investors could potentially open doors for the site and make it a stronger competitor in the online streaming space.

Freshman at Florida Atlantic University get a lesson in how journalism was done before the internet, and are surprised by how much has been forgotten in just twenty short years.

Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC blurs the line between satire and activism, but that may just be the point, in an America with no limits on campaign spending, and where political power is impossible without and often inseparable from media presence.

Whatever may be happening in the economy, we say with certainty that the news consensus says the economy is ailing, and hasn’t been this bad since 2009.

Bill Moyers returns to public television!

Another Google books dispute in France ends in settlement. Following a similar deal between Google and Hachette, French publisher La Martiniere has agreed to share revenue for out-of-print books from its collection which are to be scanned by Google.

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How far will digital media push the performing arts?

By Michael Hurtig
Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Last week in the New York Times, author James Wescott asked the question “Did Youtube Kill Performance Art?”, noting the transformation that arises when performance art is placed online, eliciting a different reaction from the viewer.

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Community Arts Journalism Challenge

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, August 15th, 2011

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation teamed up with the National Endowment for the Arts to promote innovation in arts journalism in select areas across the country. Applicants have until August 18th to submit their ideas for innovative new, sustainable arts journalism. You can find more information here: KNIGHT ARTS

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A crowded space, even for the top of the class

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, August 15th, 2011

Anthony Tommasini’s article in Sunday’s NY Times describes an ‘exponential’ increase in the number of extraordinarily proficient pianists as of late.

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