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“When the syndication numbers were casually brought up, you could see his eyes get a little brighter,” says the NBC exec. “We all know he’s in it for the money, and if the money for him is good, and it’s good for us longterm, it has the makings of a deal. Stay tuned.”p> NATIONAL PUBLIC JOKERS br> About 30 former National Public Radio staffers in Washington, D.C. would have had a good laugh last Friday night if they caught one of the segments of Bill Moyer’s weekly TV show on PBS. Both NPR and PBS are overseen to one degree or another by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides partial funding to both. And in the past several months, even though federal funding for the radio and TV divisions has not been cut, National Public Radio has cut staff in its Washington headquarters, mostly on the creative programming side, particularly in the area of classical music and culture reporting. What’s more, NPR no longer offers popular (among certain segments) bluegrass and Celtic programming to public radio stations around the country. /p>
The Moyer report was provided by NPR’s blossoming TV division, never mind that Public Broadcasting already has one. But still. The report focused on an “investigation” into ClearChannel Broadcasting, one of the largest radio station networks in the U.S. In many large markets, ClearChannel owns as many as four or five different stations, many of them playing different types of music during their programming day. The NPR criticized ClearChannel for its aggressive business style, for market-testing its musical products, and for creating a radio network often times run by computers, and less and less by on-air talent. All of this, NPR’s report said, was bad.
“But that’s what NPR itself is doing. It’s exactly what it’s doing,” says a former NPR staffer who lost his job six months ago. “We lost our jobs because some bean counter in Washington or New York ran a focus group and determined that listeners wanted something different.”
In fact, NPR operates a lot like its money-making competition, ClearChannel, but without the money-making part. It market tests many of its shows to determine if listeners want them, and it is seeking ways to cut costs by utilizing computers and other high-tech gizmos.
Most interesting, according to this former NPR staffer, is the one show most of the focus groups say they would like to see: a conservative program. “That’s the great untold story at NPR. Listeners say they want a conservative or ‘alternative’ program to balance shows like ‘All Things Considered’ and that Moyers crap, and NPR never gives it to them. It’s the one show they will never produce.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?