The passing of John Kiermaier, Former Head of WNET

August 4th, 2009

Inside Thirteen blogger:
Neal Shapiro, President and CEO

John Kiermaier, who was President and CEO of WNET during its early years, passed away last week.

John — or “Jack” as he was known to his friends — was at the helm of the station in a much different era, but he confronted many of the same challenges we face today — developing innovative new programming, raising funds in a competitive environment, and working against the odds to promote a genuine alternative to all the other media outlets out there.

John worked to build this public broadcaster in its formative years. Those were adventurous times in television — especially in the fledgling enterprise of public television. John helped show that television could be a force for education, culture, and thoughtful discussion of the affairs of the day — characteristics that continue to identify WNET’s contributions to this day.

History notes that John worked against tremendous odds to bring WNET through its birth pains and set it on the road to become media institution recognized worldwide for quality and integrity. In the years since John’s tenure here ended, all the wonderful programs that WNET has produced and aired owe a little bit of their life to John. If we continue to be pioneers — and we are — it’s because we have pioneer stock in our blood. We inherited it from intrepid souls like John.

John’s spirit lives on in our work. His dedication to WNET back then has given us all the opportunity to pursue our venerable media mission today.

Like John, I came here from network television. And certainly I am discovering some of the same kinds challenges and rewards that John encountered when he made the leap into that new, mission-driven phase of his career. I’m proud to be carrying on his legacy.

The staff and volunteers here — a few of whom surely remember John personally — extend our sympathies to John’s family.

John’s obituary was published in the New York Times yesterday.

Video: Alan Alda talks about ‘The Human Spark’

August 3rd, 2009

Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of THIRTEEN, spoke with Alan Alda backstage at the Television Critics Association press tour about facing the critics, Alda’s history as an actor, and his work as the host of The Human Spark.

Video: The Horticulture of the High Line

August 3rd, 2009

Standing a mile-and-a-half long on Manhattan’s west side is the elevated railroad known as the High Line. Built for freight deliveries in 1934, the last train ran on the High Line in 1980. From then on, nature took over – quietly, like a secret.

Wind and wildlife dispersed seeds over the abandoned railroad and a lush garden grew amid the ballast and steel tracks. Closed to the public, the trestle’s primary visitors were wild – birds, insects, and the occasional adventurous human. For these explorers, finding one’s self alone in a city of 8 million, 30 feet above street level, with a view of the Hudson River whose winds made the Irises and Evening Primrose sway – was magical. Meanwhile, on the ground, property owners in the surrounding area lobbied to demolish the High Line. But in 2002, a group called Friends of the High Line won the city’s support to preserve the railroad and turn it into a public space. The first section of the park opened in June 2009.

Botany is a force of nature whose quiet yet critical role in our ecosystem is often neglected. Fortunately, this is not the case with the new High Line park. In this video I interview Patrick Cullina, Vice President of Horticulture at the High Line, to learn more about this unique garden in the sky. When shooting this video, I also had my mother in mind – her carefully tended yard, and frequent childhood visits to the Bronx Botanical Garden where she’d take innumerable photos of my siblings and I next to the flowers. As an adult, I appreciate such beauty even more.

Irene Tejaratchi Hess
Producer, NATURE

Video: Preview of FROST/NIXON: The Original Watergate Interviews

July 30th, 2009

Sir David Frost’s legendary 1977 interview with President Nixon is a landmark in television history — never before, and never again, would Nixon confront the issue of Watergate so directly, revealingly, and emotionally.

THIRTEEN and WLIW21 are proud to bring this historic media event back to public television for the 35th anniversary of former Nixon’s resignation in August 1974. And we have a special treat for you: all-new footage of David Frost, discussing the impact of his classic interview and sharing, for the first time ever, his personal reactions to this famous moment.

Watch this preview, and use the tools above to share it with your friends.

In Case You Missed It: shows from July 20-July 26, 2009, streaming online

July 28th, 2009

A roundup of all streaming, full-length videos online from PBS and Thirteen programs that aired last week. See the list below for all full episodes and links.

Host Niall Ferguson in a scene from The Ascent of Money.

News and Public Affairs: Nightly Programs:
NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: The reports, segmented by story, per day.
Nightly Business Report: The reports stream online.
NJN News: The reports stream online for one week (see archives M-Tu-W-Th-F).
Worldfocus:The nightly news show streams online for 15 days; signature stories are online forever.

Charlie Rose:
July 20: Time Magazine‘s Jeffrey Kluger on the 40th anniversary of the moon landing; U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill.
July 21: Wired Magazine‘s Chris Anderson; the publishers and editors of Politico: Jim VandeHei, Ben Smith, John Harris and Robert Allbritton.
July 22: Director, Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag; President and CEO of Mayo Clinic Denis Cortese.
July 23: Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft; TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington; Director, Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag (part 2).
July 24: Director of “In The Loop” Armando Iannucci; a conversation about race in America with Floyd Flake, Raina Kelley and David Remnick.

Tavis Smiley:
July 20: Musician Prince (part 1).
July 21: Musician Prince (part 2).
July 22: Guitarist Carlos Santana.
July 23: Actors and musicians Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer.
July 24: Folk singer Joan Baez.

News and Public Affairs: Weekly Programs:
Washington Week: Health care and the Obama presidency; Massachusetts’ universal health care plan; unemployment, deficits and the recovery program.
NOW on PBS: The impact of financial regulatory reform on America.
Bill Moyers Journal: Health care reform; “shock jock” media.
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly:

Consuelo Mack Wealthtrack: An interview with David Swensen, chief investment officer at Yale University on his thoughts of the new investment reality.
New York Now: Rep. Scott Murphy, clean energy and ‘Report From the NanoDesk’. Available for one week only.

News and Public Affairs:
Wide Angle: The Market Maker. The story of Eleni Gabre-Madhin, an Ethiopian economist whose goal is to end hunger in her country by creating Ethiopia’s first commodities exchange.
In The Life: Civil Disobedience. Part II of In The Life’s Summer of Stonewall series commemorating the Stonewall riots from 40 years ago.

Science and Nature:
NOVAscienceNOW: Picky eaters; smart sea lions and talking walruses; biomedical engineer Sangeeta Bhatia; capturing carbon.
Nature: Silence of the Bees. This program examines the recent disappearance of the honeybee and its impact. Originally aired on October 28, 2007.
Time Team America: New Philadelphia, Illinois. The team looks for a schoolhouse where New Philadelphia’s African American children learned in freedom.
The Mysterious Human Heart: The Spark of Life. This episode explains how the heart works through its physiological electrical mechanisms.

Antiques Roadshow: Philadelphia-Hour Three.
History Detectives: Tokyo Rose recording; Crazy Horse photo; World War II diary.
The Ascent of Money: Risky Business. Economist and historian Niall Ferguson explores the origins of the insurance industry in Europe; and Hurricane Katrina and the problems of risk management.

Arts and Culture:
Masterpiece Mystery!: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? Miss Marple and two amateur sleuths investigate the mysterious death of a man on a cliff. Available for online viewing through August 9, 2009.

Jacques Pepin:More Fast Food My Way: Vegetable Fete. Mini croques-monsieur; ratatouille with penne; seafood stars in shrimp with cabbage and red caviar; peach Melba.

In Memoriam: Choreographer Merce Cunningham, 1919-2009

July 27th, 2009

Merce Cunningham, the American choreographer who is credited with reinventing the way we think about dance, has died at the age of 90. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of our time, Cunningham studied under Martha Graham before founding the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 1953.

SundayArts profiled Merce Cunningham on the eve of his 90th birthday and the world premiere of his work “Nearly Ninety” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in April. Watch the profile below.

Cunningham was also profiled in the American Masters production in “Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance.”

Video: What’s Really Going On in the New York Senate

July 24th, 2009

We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new local news series here at thirteen.org. WNET.ORG Special Correspondent Rafael Pi Roman is always on top of the news that matters to New York, whether it’s the swine flu pandemic or the chaos in the New York State legislature. In “What’s Really Going On,” Rafael asks key questions to those in the know to help you sort through the issues of the day.

You can check out Rafael’s latest installment on the power struggle in the New York Senate below. Watch more videos, including coverage of the swine flu breakout in New York, here. Stay tuned there for more news in the coming weeks.

We’re also putting the “public” back into “public television.” If you have an idea or a story that you think Rafael should chase down for his next piece, leave us a comment below.

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly wins 2009 Gabriel Award

July 23rd, 2009

“Religion & Ethics Newsweekly” has won the 2009 Gabriel award for “Television: Short Feature- National Release” for “Barefoot College in India.” The Gabriels are sponsored by the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals.

Correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro traveled to the Indian state of Rajasthan for a look at one man’s efforts to bring sustainable development to rural areas of the developing world by teaching hundreds of village women how to install and maintain solar energy. Watch the feature here.

Executive Producer for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly is Arnold Labaton. Host: Bob Abernethy. Religion & Ethics is produced by WNET.ORG.

Reel 13 & Rooftop Films: Online Shorts Outdoors

July 22nd, 2009

The animated short film, “Juxtaposed” by Alex Wager, opens with this dedication:

“For those I’ve lost,
for those I’ve found,
and for those I hope to rediscover.”

As the general public, we don’t get exposed to short films from our typical media consumption sources…TV, movie theaters, Hulu, Netflix, DVDs…If you want to watch a short you have to seek it out – at a festival or online. This dedication from Alex reminds me of that search. I often find myself browsing the web looking for sites I know I’ve seen but can’t remember, those I’ve found by accident and those I hope will inspire me.

Reel13 online is one destination you can browse for short films that will inspire you, whether it’s the extraordinary talent of a gifted animator or the way a story can ring so true to your own life.

This week we’re kicking off a partnership with Rooftop Films – one of New York’s most popular and venerable summer event series. For four weeks, Rooftop will curate Reel13’s online shorts competition. The shorts will screen at a Rooftop live event and then stream online at Reel13.org where you can vote for the winner. And as always, each winner will be broadcast on THIRTEEN on Saturday night and win a cash prize. (more…)

©2017 WNET All Rights Reserved.   825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019