Media Briefing for Tuesday, January 2, 2007
President Gerald Ford was not at war with the press, and indeed had a warm relationship with journalists during his tenure as president. Media columnist Howard Kurtz takes a look in the Washington Post. PBS has presented a documentary on President Ford entitled, Time And Chance: Gerald Ford’s Appointment With History, and it was broadcast on a number of PBS stations nationwide after Ford’s death, including on KCTS channel 9 Seattle, reports the Seattle Times.
Viewers looking on the web for graphic video of the hanging of Saddam Hussein did not find it on MBNBC.com which followed the standards of NBC. An NBC executive said the network does not show graphic video of executions. On the other hand the Fox News website did show portions of the video, reports Reuters. Friday evening was a tense night for the networks and cable news channels with reports of imminent death for former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. For a time it was not certain whether the hanging would even take place at that time, reports Associated Press.
PBS is planning to run 3 pilots for a proposed science series. PBS viewers get to vote on their favorite pilot, and the winner will become a multi-part series on the network later this year. The Philadelphia Inquirer gives a detailed look.
Philadelphia Inquirer TV columnist Jonathan Storm reviews the year 2006 in television. Storm singles out 3 PBS series, Country Boys, Bleak House and Prime Suspect: Final Act as “three wonderful extended series,” in his piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jared Nathan, a former star on the PBS series Zoom, has died at the age of 21. He was killed Thursday in an alleged drunken driving automobile accident in New Hampshire, reports the Nashua, New Hampshire Telegraph. The Associated Press also has a story.
A new show featured on PBS Sprout, Pingu “will not drive you crazy,” says the San Francisco Chronicle.
New York remains the media capital of the nation. The concentration of media headquarters in Manhattan is getting denser, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Old media and new will have one focus in the year 2007: Google and the internet, according to the Los Angeles Times. Whenever a brand or service is introduced and becomes highly successful, there is always then an explosion of competitors. Google has become enormously successful, and now there are many others looking to be the next Google. Everybody wants a slice of the websearch pie, including such startups as Powerset.com, also Snap.com, and ChaCha.com, reports the New York Times.
With many decrying what media consolidation has done so far to radio and television in the United States, the FCC is considering allowing even further consolidation of ownership. Now, the FCC has decided to make all the studies it has on the issue of media ownership and consolidation available to the public. The studies will be posted on the web, according to Broadcasting & Cable. Meanwhile, the FCC may back off from further relaxing the rules now that the Democrats are in control of Congress, Media Week reports.
Could disc jockeys on radio be on the way out, the latest victims of technology? In the United Kingdom, the Manchester Evening News reports that digital voices may be replacing live people as radio disc jockeys. The reports.
Satellite radio has acquired big-name stars such as Howard Stern and others. Its audience increased again in 2006. Will there now be a merger between the two satellite radio companies, Sirius and XM, asks the New York Times.
France is holding its first-ever internet based primary election, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Health care websites once had static pages of information and data, but now many of them have turned into interactive sites where people with diabetes, cancer, AIDS, and other diseases and ailments can share information and compare experiences. The sites now often have blogs and sometimes iPods, according to the Wall Street Journal.
To engage children and young people in opera and the arts, the Metropolitan Opera is now presenting an English language version of Mozart’s classic The Magic Flute, which also has been shortened to 1 hour and 40 minutes. Judging from its first performance, it was a hit among young people, reports the Associated Press. (The production will be broadcast as part of the new PBS series Great Performances at the Met, which debuts this month, check local listings at your PBS station website.)
On Friday the FCC approved the big merger between AT&T and BellSouth. There will be a number of important consequences for consumers, reports Associated Press.
The world of cellular telephones and instant messaging is making it more difficult for parents to keep in touch with their children’s lives. It’s not like the 20th century when children had to call on the telephone and often speak to their friends’ parents, reports the Hartford Courant.
Disney’s popular websites Disney.com, ABC.com and ESPN.com are consistently among the top 10 most visited websites at work and at home, according to Nielsen Netratings which tracks online traffic. But critics maintain that the Disney websites are hard to navigate. So Disney is planning to introduce a sleek makeover, reports the New York Times.
Broadcasters have the National Association of Broadcasters. Telephone companies and pharmaceutical companies have large lobbying organizations to deliver their messages to political leaders in Washington. But companies involved in technology and the internet have no such major lobbying organization. Maybe they should, says the Los Angeles Times.
Even traditional 50,000 watt broadcast radio stations often have signal fading and dropout problems in Manhattan and New York City. Cellular telephone companies are concerned about dropped phone calls, and are now undertaking an effort to learn where the dead spots are. So they have placed special electronic equipment in city taxicabs, since they travel all over the city, and will reveal problem areas, reports Associated Press.
Visually impaired people in Vermont will now have access to news stories in 3 Vermont newspapers, the Burlington Free Press, Brattleboro Reformer and Bennington Review. They receive the service through the telephone – a service with a mechanical voice that also provides stories from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and a total of 230 newspapers, reports the Associated Press.
With the death of Ed Bradley in November, CBS has no plans to replace him right away on 60 Minutes. The workload will be spread around the other correspondents and it will take a long time to find a replacement, according to Associated Press.
Former Los Angeles TV reporter Ron Fineman, who ran a website devoted to news and journalism, Ron Fineman’s On The Record, has died at age 54. Fineman’s website was widely read by those in the industry, and he often took off the gloves on stations that he felt were slipping into tabloid journalism, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The decision of the government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to not renew the license of RCTV, Radio Caracas Television is raising questions in the country about whether Chavez is now stifling criticism and debate. RCTV has been a strong critic of his regime, reports the New York Times.
A government-run radio station in Iran is letting critics vent about Iran’s tough stance on nuclear power. The station, which went on the air in May, has allowed critics to vent on a number of subjects that were once taboo on Iranian airwaves, reports the New York Times.
The ABC soap opera All My Children is taking on a risky subject. A flamboyant rock star on the show reveals he is transgendered. The Los Angeles Times reports.
The impending demise of classical music on Washington’s WGMS 104.1 is part of a national trend, with classical music disappearing everywhere in the nation, notes the Washington Post. WGMS is being acquired by the owner of the football Washington Redskins, who has made a number of financially unsound decisions in recent years, according to the Washington Times.
There are only about 30 all-classical music radio stations left in the United States. Such major cities as Detroit, Philadelphia and Miami no longer have classical stations.
In addition to the approximately 30 fulltime stations, there are other stations that offer classical music during certain periods of the day and they may be found at Classical Webcast.com
Here are the fulltime classical stations, all of which also stream their music on the internet:
Classical music stations streaming
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
WGMS 104.1 Washington (may soon drop classical format)
WETA 90.9 Washington (will adopt classical if WGMS drops it)
<a href=www.wcny.org/classicfm/ WCNY 91.3 Syrcause