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Posted on February 21 at 12:13 p.m.
Oh yeah -- the other loser : the sad 1950s style journalism on AM radio in Santa Barbara, including the News-Press station which doesn't deserve the BBC distribution arrangement. Bring that to FM!
On Santa Monica’s KCRW to Buy KDB
Posted on February 21 at 12:08 p.m.
Well played by Public Radio Capital, the financiers behind this. They seem to have learned their lesson from the dissent they caused in Pittsburgh when they financed the sale of Duquesne's jazz station, causing the loss of jazz for the sake of NPR... or in San Francisco where they enabled the elimination of a popular eclectic music station for the sake of classical music (from KUSC, no less). I hope KCRW will find a way to use the talented KDB manager, Tim Owens, who is legendary in public radio circles. Meanwhile, it's not too late for KCLU and KCBX to join forces to create a stronger local news presence in Santa Barbara -- something the city certainly deserves and isn't going to get immediately in the KCRW plan. (Hint: work with non-profit Mission & State -- now!) While this is a sort of win-win... the losers are KPCC in LA who see themselves as the regional NPR news powerhouse (wondering if they made a play on KDB?)... and the pathetic UCSB station, KCSB, which doesn't seem to give a damn if anyone listens or not.
Posted on August 1 at 9:46 a.m.
This comment section is so interesting. I was wondering what all the fuss was about!
Having no stake in the matter (except as taxpayer who voted to increase college funding), I mostly sympathize with Serban who had a hard job to do -- given the State of California's fiscal woes and the cuts to community colleges.
She seemed to do a good job with the finances. However, *how* one works counts for a lot too. It seems her leadership/management skills were lacking and she left too many stakeholders unhappy.
Let's hope the next president can do all things -- manage the shrinking budget, meet growing student demand, and please the staff, the faculty, the community and the trustees!
On Serban Placed on Leave of Absence
Posted on July 8 at 12:45 p.m.
I arrived too late to know the good News Press. I understand it had a solid reputation and worked diligently to serve the news needs of this community. Since arriving in 2007, I've only been able to read the maddeningly unethical, weakly written, badly edited waste of newsprint that the N-P is today. So, a five year commemoration to mark the disappearance of an important community institution -- especially as journalism itself struggles -- seems a fitting event for all concerned. In fact, I'd like to see an even bigger effort to confront this gap in Santa Barbara. Community information task force anyone?
On Five Years Since the News-Press Meltdown Began
Posted on December 17 at 9:30 a.m.
Now that SB is assured of getting the national PBS line-up, what about noncommercial programming that serves SB locally? (I suppose this is where those cable access channels are supposed to make us happy, but seriously the production values on those channels is atrocious.) Here's the thing: KCET's move to go independent *could* be a major break for Santa Barbara *if* KCET were to devote some commitment to our coverage needs. LET'S CALL ON KCET AND INSIST ON STRONG COVERAGE OF THE SANTA BARBARA AREA!
On More Changes for PBS in S.B.
Posted on August 20 at 8:46 a.m.
KCLU might have made for a better partner -- they have the professional news department, bring the trusted NPR News brand, cater to the SB community and just bought KIST. KCSB could solve its reliability issues but that would involve a major cultural shift from free-form radio to something both audience-focused and journalistically reliable. It is too bad the most well-resourced news institution in town (the News-Press) is so weak when it comes to providing crisis coverage, especially on radio.
On Independent Announces Emergency Alert Service
Posted on July 14 at 9:06 a.m.
I still subscribe because I want a full service daily paper on my doorstep. But, I expect local enterprise reporting, not these press release rewrites. And, I expect contextual reporting, not these boring episodic process pieces (this government body met, that government body met). There is an obvious lack of editing, experience, courage and skill in that newsroom. And then there's the wasted use of the editorial page. Rather than serve as a powerful institutional voice for the betterment of the community, it seems like a series of random essays on animal rights and childish, vapid attacks on city hall. The sophomoric logic and Wendy's self interest in those editorials is astonishing. And now complete departure from the facts!?! Wake up, News-Press. Turn over a new leaf. Do something worthy. This can't go on.
Posted on June 30 at 10:07 a.m.
Persuading McCaw to run her business in the public interest seems unlikely. (Who would do it?) JoeHill and RCMeltzer proffer the scenario of a competing newspaper. Newspapers are not attractive investments right now, but I believe the scenario is possible. Is there a significant SBNP replacement waiting to be born? (Or fully realized?) Or is Santa Barbara content with an evolution in on-line journalism?
Posted on June 28 at 1:15 p.m.
What can the community -- the citizenry of Santa Barbara -- do here? Boycott, yes, but that aims to punish the paper. I wonder what the community can do to *rescue* the historical institution that Ms Hamilton and no doubt others would prefer to have survive and thrive. I still believe that a significant community needs significant journalism which requires significant investment. What would be the first step in turning this situation around?
Posted on March 29 at 3:19 p.m.
Nice piece, Charles. Lots to chew.
I did, however, want to offer a polite correction.
It's common to lump many public radio productions under the National Public Radio masthead. Like Xerox, Kleenix and Muzak the brand sometimes becomes generic. NPR is easily associated with the best radio on the dial but the new program doesn't come from NPR.
John Hockenberry's The Takeaway comes from a consortium of other outlets (and not all radio) to take direct aim at NPR' Morning Edition. Imagine the possibilities combining WNYC in New York, with the New York Times and the BBC, distributed by PRI, Public Radio International.
The idea is to create a more conversational news program, very live and less pre-packaged. I believe it arrives in April. It would be great if one of three (imported) public radio signals in Santa Barbara carried it.
On Ted Baxter, R.I.P.