Audio News for June 17, 2005

by | Jun 17, 2005 | Audio News | 0 comments

Big Bird Goes on Endangered Species List – The most drastic
cutback of public broadcasting since Congress created the nonprofit
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in l967 is being proposed by
a House subcommittee.  Taxpayer funds (though an average of only
$1.12 a year) which helped underwrite such PBS programs as Sesame
Street and Arthur are suggested for complete elimination, and the
subcommittee wants to eliminate all federal money for CPB within two
years. The funds from CPB are especially important to small radio and
TV stations, and account for about 15% of public broadcasting’s total
revenue. The president of Alaska Public Radio Network said this could
literally put them out of business because they are operating down to
the bone already.  He observed that as well as an important source
of news in urban areas, in rural areas of Alaska it is life-critical.
The loss of funds would also make it impossible for many PBS stations
to update their analog TV signal to digital along with all the
commercial TV stations.

As the appropriations bill moves along House members could restore some
of the funding, and it hasn’t yet reached the Senate, which has
traditionally been a stronger ally of public broadcasting than the
House (whose former speaker tried unsuccessfully to “zero out” CPB a
decade ago).  NPR’s Nina Tottenberg announced that if the Supreme
Court supports the cutbacks it would in effect mean the end of NPR, PBS
and also the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  All of these
are being attacked as not worth the funding in economically tight
times.  Rep. David Obey (Dem.) of Wisconsin, who is on the
subcommittee and dissents the decision, said in a statement: “Americans
overwhelmingly see public broadcasting as an unbiased information
source.  Perhaps that’s what the GOP finds so offensive about it.
Republican leaders are trying to bring every facet of the federal
government under their control…Now they are trying to put their
ideological stamp on public broadcasting.”

Composer David Diamond Dies
– One of the leading American composers
in the last century, David Diamond has died at age 89 in Rochester,
NY.  He studied with Roger Sessions and Nadia Boulanger, and was
later known for his position on the faculty of the Juilliard School of
Music. The rhythmic element is strong in all of his works.  Though
his early pieces used complex harmonic writing and his later style was
a modified atonalism, he avoided standard academic serialism. 
Naxos has been issuing a series of Diamond CDs with Gerard Schwarz and
the Seattle Symphony, with several more scheduled in coming months.

Oregon Scientific Moves Into Audio
– Oregon Scientific has been
making stylish clock and weather devices for many years; you may have
seen them in the Sharper Image catalog. Now, like many firms, it had a
choice regarding the attention grabbed by Apple’s iPod: It could either
compete against the technology rage or make accessories for it. It has
already launched a waterproof, Flash memory, MP3 player with waterproof
headphones and mini-USB ports for charging and data transfer. Their
next step will be their new “StyleFi” audio systems based on the
iPod.  They make use of acrylic and NXT speakers and revel in bold
and  cool modern design. The Music Element will be the first
Oregon Scientific model in the the StyleFi series and is scheduled for
a Fall release.

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