Archive for the ‘public broadcasting’ Category

NPR. It stands for … NPR.

July 8, 2010

NPR. It stands for ... NPR.

National Public Radio has announced it will now be known as NPR. The Public broadcaster joins other image-conscious nonprofits in adopting a self-referential abbreviation, chief among them AARP. “Radio” sounds so old-fashioned, just like “Colored People” and “Retired People.” The “just-call-us-NPR” network is trying to emphasize its sizeable mobile, podcast, and web presence because the NPR radio audience largely comprises … retired people.


Cherry Blossoms Bloom — On DC TV

March 7, 2010

Cherry Clossoms Bloom -- On DC TV

The snow has melted, but Washington’s cherry trees are bare — except on public television. WETA is running a program called The Washington Cherry Blossoms: Beauty on the Basin, and sun-washed pink blooms wave across your TV screen, accompanied by inoffensive music.


Start Celebrating Early in DC!

July 3, 2009

Start Celebrating Early in DC!

Washingtonians: Want to really declare your independence? Start celebrating Independence Day tonight, July 3rd at 9 PM.  Tune your radio toWAMU-FM 88.5 and listen to a special Independence Day edition of American Routes with Ponderosa Stomp, the Del McCoury Band, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It’s not the same old Sousa.

The program features portions of live concerts from New Orleans’ French Quarter. The Ponderosa Stomp is dedicated to the “unsung heroes of rock ‘n’ roll” and their rockabilly, soul, country and R&B classics. Then the Del McCoury Band cooks up hot Bluegrass in Preservation Hall, mother church of hot jazz, along with the resident masters, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  Program details here.

Declare your independence from HD radio, too. Tonight’s broadcast is on “real radio,” WAMU-FM’s main frequency, 88.5, not WAMU’s HD2 channel, where show is usually heard in Washington (Saturdays 8 PM-10 PM).  If you  are among the millions in the Washington area without an HD radio, this is a rare chance to hear American Routes on something that sounds better than your laptop.


Broadcast Bluegrass Returns — in Reston

November 21, 2008

Broadcast Bluegrass Returns -- in Reston

Bluegrass radio is on the air in Northern Virginia. Why is this news? The transmitter, mighty 250-watt W288BS-FM (105.5 MHz), is the “translator” or relay station for Washington’s WAMU-FM which, after 47 years, deleted Bluegrass from its programming during the Great Bluegrass Purge of 2001. The American University public broadcaster put Bluegrass out to pasture way beyond the North 40, in the sideband Siberia known as HD Radio ™.


People Meters

November 20, 2008

People Meters

FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein sent a protest letter to FCC Chair Martin calling for investigation of Arbitron’s “Portable People Meter”ratings. The new radio audience rating system uses a “Portable People Meter or PPM, a small gizmo that automatically tracks individual radio usage. Ratings using the new system reduce audience size rankings of Urban Contemporary music and Spanish language stations. Commissioner Adelstein and others wonder if the new system under-rates minority station audiences.


New NPR CEO Got It

November 13, 2008

New NPR CEO Got It

National Public Radio (NPR) has a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from the New York Times (NYT) who is not “out-to-lunch” (OTL).  Vivian Schiller, new President and CEO of NPR, ran NYT’s digital side, the website and blogs. She seems to understand a few things her public radio predecessors didn’t:

Top-down organization is fine for conventional networks and direct satellite broadcasters, but it is not appropriate in an organization funded by member stations.

Distributing audio content to the stations that finance it while also offering it directly to listeners as free podcasts and circumventing terrestrial stations by offering the same shows on SatRadio’s XM-Sirius-Telstar (whatever) is an awkward business model.


4th of July in Washington — It’s in the Air

July 3, 2008

4th of July in Washington -- It's in the Air

Washingtonians: Celebrate, rebel, protest, declare independence — listen to Red, White and Blues: The Sounds of Patriotic Pluralism on WAMU-FM 88.5 from 2 to 4 PM 6 PM today, Friday, July, 4 2008.

A special edition of American Routes, it’s not the same old Sousa. Hear guests from Merle Haggard to Joan Baez talk about patriotism and protest with host Nick Spitzer as well as blues and New Orleans jazz versions of classic freedom songs, plus American anthems from James Brown, the Staple Singers, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Martin, and more.


Washington, DC — May the Fourth Be With You!

July 1, 2008

Washington DC --May the Fourth Be With You!

Washingtonians: Hear the American Routes 4th of July Special on the WAMU-FM 88.5 main broadcast frequency from 2 to 4 PM 6 PM this Friday, July, 4 2008.

The show, Red, White and Blues: The Sounds of Patriotic Pluralism, is not the same old Sousa. Hear guests from Merle Haggard to Joan Baez talk about patriotism and protest with host Nick Spitzer as well as blues and New Orleans jazz versions of classic freedom songs, American anthems from James Brown, the Staple Singers, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Martin, and more.

Cool off with a summer road trip to Ted Drewes’ Frozen Custard stand on Route 66 in St. Louis, and play “Drown the Clown” at a Massachusetts county fair. May the Fourth be with you!


Bo Diddley Radio Special Sunday 6PM on WAMU-FM

June 6, 2008

Bo Diddley Radio Special Sunday 6PM on WAMU-FM

Hear Nick Spitzer’s 2002 interview with Bo Diddley on WAMU-FM 88.5 this Sunday, June 8, 2008.  Rock n’ Roll icon Bo Diddley (Ellas Bates McDaniel) passed away on June 2nd. Bo Diddley lived here in Washington, DC in the early 1960s, worked with local musicians, and recorded the classic Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger in his basement at 2614 Rhode Island Avenue, NE.


Radio Road Trip

May 23, 2008

Radio Road Trip

Washington, DC-area radio listeners can take a classic American “road trip” this holiday weekend, even if they stay home. WAMU-FM will air a special broadcast of the American Routes “Kings of the Road” program from 2PM to 4PM on Monday, May 26th (Memorial Day) on the main frequency, 88.5 FM.

That means if you are on the road or vacationing within a 40 mile radius of the Nation’s Capital, you can hear this program of classic roots music and discussions of road chroniclers Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Jack Kerouac.