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NFL Runs 'Broadcasting Boot Camp' for Aging Players

Intensive course prepares sportscaster hopefuls for being on the other side

(Newser) - The NFL is teaching two dozen pros nearing the end of their playing days how to tackle a media career in its third annual "Broadcasting Boot Camp," the Washington Post reports. The would-be sportscasters were no strangers to the camera, but many needed extensive coaching from ex-players with...

PBS Bans New Religious Programming
PBS Bans New Religious Programming

PBS Bans New Religious Programming

Channels that already carry church services allowed to continue

(Newser) - PBS has voted to enforce its longstanding prohibition on sectarian broadcasts and ban its stations from carrying any new religious programming, the Washington Post reports. As a compromise, the few stations that already air church services and religious lectures will be allowed to continue to do so. Religious discussions that...

Millions Still Unprepared for DTV Switch

(Newser) - Millions of Americans, particularly in urban and rural areas, will see their televisions go black when broadcasters switch to digital transmission next week, the New York Times reports. A Nielsen survey indicates that more than 10% of the 114 million homes with sets are partially or completely unprepared for the...

Hall of Famer George Kell Dead at 86
 Hall of Famer 
 George Kell 
 Dead at 86 

Hall of Famer George Kell Dead at 86

.306 career hitter won AL batting title in 1949

(Newser) - Baseball Hall of Famer and broadcaster George Kell died in his sleep this morning in Arkansas, reports; he was 86. He batted .306 during 15 seasons in the 1940s and ‘50s, winning the American League batting crown in 1949. The 10-time All-Star, whose stops included Detroit, Boston,...

Don Imus Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

Radio host tells audience of diagnosis

(Newser) - Shock-jock Don Imus, best known for stirring near-universal ire with his "nappy-headed hos" comment, announced on-air this morning that he has stage 2 prostate cancer, WCBS-TV in New York reports. Imus, 68, voiced confidence that "his doctors will beat it," Fox News reports, and speculated that the...

Twitter: It's All About Self Promotion

Tricks to being heard in the clutter

(Newser) - Without understanding Twitter's purpose, the social networking rage—which has gained 1.2 million viewers from last year—can feel "like a noisy bar where everyone is shouting and nobody is listening," Julia Angwin warns in the Wall Street Journal. "It's about promoting yourself." That's why...

Radio's Paul Harvey Dead at 90
 Radio's Paul Harvey Dead at 90 

Radio's Paul Harvey Dead at 90

(Newser) - Paul Harvey, the news commentator and talk-radio pioneer whose staccato style made him one of the nation's most familiar voices, died today in Arizona at age 90. Known for his resonant voice and trademark delivery of "The Rest of the Story," Harvey had been heard nationally since 1951,...

ESPN, Discovery Rank as Favorite Cable Channels

(Newser) - US viewers see ESPN and the Discovery Channel as the most indispensable cable networks, Multichannel News reports. A poll by Solutions Research Group asked 1,200 TV viewers which channels they thought of as “must keep.” The results:
  • The top four spots went to the big networks. In

Local TV Stations Could Go Off the Air

Networks consider jumping straight to cable

(Newser) - For decades, local TV stations ruled the airwaves and were treated with deference by the likes of ABC, CBS, and NBC, which needed them to reach their audiences. But as the recession has pummeled advertising revenue, most have been forced to make drastic cuts, and the networks are contemplating doing...

Madden Has Lots of Fans, If Not All the Facts
Madden Has Lots of Fans, If Not All the Facts
super bowl

Madden Has Lots of Fans, If Not All the Facts

Aging voice of the NFL still flashes brilliance along with slip-ups

(Newser) - John Madden's on-air analysis isn't always right—zealous fact-checkers will attest to that—but the elder statesman of NFL commentators is usually on the money, writes Matthew Futterman in the Wall Street Journal. "I know there's talk he's lost a step," his former boss acknowledges, but the onetime...

Disney Channel Coming to Russian TV
Disney Channel Coming to Russian TV

Disney Channel Coming to Russian TV

Mickey and pals get first Western foothold in massive market

(Newser) - Disney has become the first Western company to crack the potentially lucrative Russian TV market, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company and a Russian broadcaster are finalizing plans to introduce Disney programming on 30 stations nationwide. Disney will have a 49% ownership stake in the deal with Russia's Media-One...

Fear Not, Righties: Fairness Doctrine Isn't Coming Back

Democrats won't restore required balance to airwaves

(Newser) - Conservatives are beating their war drums with warnings that the Obama administration will torpedo them by reinstituting the so-called fairness doctrine. If he does—the policy calls for broadcasters to air opposing viewpoints—it could be big trouble for Rush Limbaugh and another denizens of the right-wing talk circuit. But...

BBC Yanks Comics for Prank Call

Brand famous for racy, offensive jokes

(Newser) - The BBC suspended two leading comedians for a prank call that infuriated 18,000 viewers and that even the prime minister called “inappropriate and unacceptable,” the news service reports. Foul-mouthed Russell Brand—who, stateside, offended abstinent teens at MTV's Music Video Awards—and Jonathan Ross told a 78-year-old...

NBC Pages Seek Bigtime on $10/Hour

Ted Koppel, Regis Philbin alums of yearlong program

(Newser) - Screaming girls, predawn starts, and 6-day weeks are a lot to handle on $10 an hour—but NBC pages see success at the end of the tunnel, the New York Times reports. They know that hours of smiling schlep work—think photocopies and coffee—have led luminaries like Regis Philbin...

Under Pressure, Sirius XM Tries to Look Ahead

Merged company works to develop subscribers, refinance debt

(Newser) - Satellite radio’s fortunes—thought to be peaking after Sirius and XM merged in July—are falling as the united company’s stock continues to tumble and management scrambles to refinance debt, reports the Wall Street Journal. Still, CEO Mel Karmazin says, the company is “heading toward making a...

Cable News Was Biggest Convention Winner
Cable News Was Biggest Convention Winner

Cable News Was Biggest Convention Winner

Broadcasters cede historic role as political pundits

(Newser) - The Democratic Convention made it official, writes Scott Collilns in the Los Angeles Times: The broadcast networks have passed the political torch to the cable networks. CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC not only delivered “wall to wall coverage” compared to the broadcast nets' paltry hour of nightly programming. Their...

Google Readies for Spectrum Showdown

As TV goes digital, tech giants, broadcasters vie for unused space

(Newser) - Google has launched an aggressive campaign to free up the soon-to-be-emptied "white spaces" of the TV spectrum for Internet devices and broadband access, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The spaces will open up when TV switches entirely to digital in February. Google and other tech giants are hotly...

CBS Bounces Packer From NCAA Team
CBS Bounces Packer From NCAA Team

CBS Bounces Packer From NCAA Team

After 34 years of Final Fours, controversial broadcaster is out

(Newser) - For the first time in 34 years, Billy Packer won’t be calling the Final Four, the Miami Herald reports. CBS won’t renew the 68-year-old’s year-to-year contract, an exec confirmed, but will replace Packer with veteran announcer Clark Kellogg. Packer has been a controversy magnet, most famously for...

Thriller Joins Top US History Trove

Jackson hit album added to prestigious aural archives

(Newser) - Michael Jackson's Thriller has been added to the prestigious National Recording Registry's archive of the most important recordings in American history, Variety reports. The monster 1982 hit joins 24 other "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" new additions to the collection, including a 1925 recording of the first-ever broadcast to...

Justice Dept. Sues Fox Over Raunchy Reality Show

Latest round in indecency battle

(Newser) - The Justice Department has stepped in to force Fox to pay up $56,000 in indecency fines levied by the FCC but challenged by the broadcaster, Variety reports. Eight Fox-owned stations are being sued to collect fines for a 2003 episode of "Married by America" that featured men at...

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