April 28, 2005

New CPB head likes media consolidation, doesn't like NPR 

The reaction to one episode of Postcards from Buster spoiled the short tenure of Kathleen Cox as president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the federal entity that funds public radio and television. Following that embarassing little spat, President Bush has now given the reins to the man who spearheaded the recent FCC effort to relax media ownership restrictions. And who apparently doesn't know anything about NPR or public radio, and rarely watches public television. Ken Ferree served as head of the FCC's media bureau, and was the point man on the commission's attempt to loosen media cross-ownership rules and other limits on corporate media ownership. In an interview with the New York Times Magazine, he says he doesn't listen to NPR because he commutes to work on his motorcycle, and likes People magazine. He equates the "Lehrer thing" to Shakespeare, which is too slow for his taste. The good news for us is Mr. Ferree likes the Internet, and sees interactive media as a promising terrain for public broadcasting. I couldn't agree more...maybe we'll see a Corporation for Public Blogcasting in the days ahead!

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