Aug
19
2010

Meanwhile, on Public TV…

Two PBS-related items of interest.

-Last year when PBS announced the retirement of Bill Moyers and theinexplicable cancellation of the excellent Now program, word came that some public TV stations would be airing a program produced by(yes, this is a real thing) the George W. Bush Institute. The show, Ideas in Action, is host by James Glassman; as FAIR noted, he is

a longtime fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, is perhaps best known for his remarkably optimistic–and wrong–book Dow 36,000. He also regularly penned op-eds for major U.S. newspapers that pushed views and policies that would directly benefit sponsors of his online news site, TechCentralStation.com (Extra!, 3-4/05).

According to a report at the Politico (8/18/10), Glassman's show will air Sunday mornings on WHUT and on Maryland Public Television (MPT).

–The PBS program Nightly Business Report, produced by a public station in Miami, has been sold to "a private company headed by Mykalai Kontilai, a former manager of mixed martial artists," according to a report in the New York Times. The Times notes that the show "has struggled recently to find enough corporate underwriting sponsors," so presumably the new owners think they can do that. The show will continue to be produced at the Miami public station WPBT.

The arrangement is somewhat puzzling: aprivate company now takes ownershipof a public TV program, and will apparently solicit private corporate sponsors foran important"public television"show. Then again, the PBS flagshipNewsHour newscast is a project of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, and the majority owneris Liberty Media, the companyrun by conservative media mogul JohnMalone.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.