media

Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times, addressed her sudden and controversial firing during a commencement address at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Monday.

"Sure, losing a job you love hurts," she admitted. "But the work I revered, journalism that holds powerful institutions and people accountable, is what makes our democracy so resilient. This is the work I will remain very much a part of."

When Wake Forest University officials invited Jill Abramson to deliver this year's commencement speech, they probably didn't realize they'd be in the midst of one of the biggest media controversies of the year.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

You'd think that the New York Times, after covering so many sackings, would know how to fire its own editor without having it become one of the biggest, ugliest stories of the week. On today's show, we'll explore the presumption that the Great Gray Lady is run by sexist pork faces.

When New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger removed Jill Abramson from the paper's executive editor spot on Wednesday, it stunned the media world. Abramson was the first woman to ever fill the paper's top post and was credited with helping right its fiscal ship, and much of the early coverage about just why she was pushed out centered on a possible dispute over her pay, which was less than her male predecessors' compensation.

It is illegal in the U.S. to operate a drone for cash. That's the position of the Federal Aviation Administration — which is in charge of protecting air space. But at least one industry has decided that it doesn't care and it's going to put drones to work anyway: the film industry.

Drone Startups Hit Hollywood

The Federal Communications Commission announced last month that it would propose new rules. In a blog post, Chairman Tom Wheeler insists that the open Internet rules will help maintain what's called network neutrality. That is, making certain that your Internet provider doesn't give a faster connection to a service that can pay more.

"!!!!"

That was the body of the note from NPR producer Evie Stone, along with a link to an exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image titled The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture.

Obviously, Evie and I share a certain sensibility. And just as obviously, I had to go to Astoria, Queens, to check out the exhibit — and report this piece.

On a plaza outside a hotel in Culver City, Calif., four people are stalking each other with PlayStation Move controllers. The devices look a bit like microphones, with glowing orbs on top lit up in pink, yellow and blue.

Video game designer Douglas Wilson is holding a portable speaker, blasting Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

From afar, this looks like some sort of public performance art. But it is actually a high-tech combination of tag and musical chairs, called Johann Sebastian Joust.

Media industry veteran Jarl Mohn will be NPR's new CEO, the organization's board of directors has announced.

Mohn, 62, currently sits on the board of directors at several media organizations, including Scripps Networks Interactive and Web analytics company ComScore. He is also on the boards of KPCC Southern California Public Radio and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Announcing the hire, Kit Jensen, who chairs NPR's board of directors, said Mohn has "an ability to find nuanced and new ideas." He is slated to start work at NPR on July 1.

Experts agree that climate change is a global problem. A documentary film company in our region planned to look at how Adirondack communities are adapting to climate change. But  the film’s producer changed his focus after encountering high school students at a Youth Climate Summit.

David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

This hour on The Scramble our superguest is David Folkenflik. I don't have to tell you who David Folkenflik is, do I? I mean, you're public radio listeners. The superguest always sets the agenda, and David wants to talk about new journalism start-ups like Vox, Five-Thirty Eight, First Look,  and about what middle-aged digital brand names like Slate are doing to survive. 

Twitter is growing and its brand is spreading but Wall Street is unimpressed. On Tuesday, the company announced it had doubled its quarterly revenue from a year ago to $250 million. The social networking site also increased its number of active users to 255 million, up 25 percent from a year earlier.

But despite the gains, Wall Street analysts have called the growth tepid. Twitter went public last November, and its shares have traded as high as $74; on Wednesday, it opened at under $38.

Peter Morenus/UConn Photo

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the University of Connecticut last week. The speech was closed to the public, but she took questions, including one from UConn President Susan Herbst exploring the current state of journalism.

Daniel Novta / Flickr Creative Commons

We cover a lot of ground on this hour's Scramble. We begin with the editor of Salon.com in a conversation about a story that dominated the headlines this weekend, the racist remarks attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.

Dave Daley sees Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy as part of a pattern. I don't. Not exactly, anyway. Dave also talks about Thomas Piketty, the first rock star economist in, well, a really long time.

Netflix, buoyed by its foray into original productions such as the political drama House of Cards, said Monday it has added 2.25 million new customers and plans to raise its new-subscriptions rate by $1 or $2 a month.

The video streaming service reported first quarter earnings of $53 million, or 86 cents a share. Its share price surged by 6 percent following the announcement of earnings that compared with $2.7 million in the same period a year ago.

Fibonacci Blue / Flickr Creative Commons

Spite is everywhere. It's as fresh as today's sports headlines as UConn readies to play Notre Dame for the women's basketball championship. Fighting Irish coach Muffet McGraw has acknowledged that there is hate between the two teams.

Today on the Scramble, we get to spend some time with Frank Rich. Frank wears a lot of hats these days as both editor-at-large at New York Magazine and Executive Producer of VEEP on HBO. We're going to chat with him in both capacities and there is an interesting bridge between the two realms.

WTIC

Former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland announced Thursday that he's stepping down from his afternoon talk show on WTIC 1080. He ended his show by saying, “Today will be my last show, as I’m leaving the station to take care of some personal issues.”

Facebook announced a pretty big purchase on Tuesday: The social media giant said it was acquiring Oculus VR, a company that makes virtual reality goggles, for $2 billion.

The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook, which the company values at $1.6 billion.

DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

Five municipal police departments in Connecticut and one state police troop failed to follow Freedom of Information law by refusing to release basic information upon request.

morttodd.com / Monsters Attack #4, September 1990

What began as a joke on Facebook ended up reviving the work of a Connecticut-based comic book company that went out of business more than 30 years ago.

Peter Bond/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: One of the nation's most interesting thinkers, writer Frank Rich talks with us about his analysis of what's happened to Fox News. Essentially, Rich says liberals and centrists keep falling for the Fox game, by responding to Fox's silly stories, like the so-called war on Christmas, or the birther controversy. The bait is offered time and again, and usually taken. Witness MSNBC's constant responses to Fox “news” reports.

Teenagers put a lot of stock in what their peers are doing, and parents are forever trying to push back against that influence. But with the advent of social media, hanging out with the wrong crowd can include not just classmates, but teenagers thousands of miles away on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

After 5-Decade Career, NPR's Carl Kasell Will Retire

Mar 4, 2014

After a five-decade career in broadcasting, Carl Kasell announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Carl will record his final broadcast for Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! this spring. He will, however, remain "scorekeeper emeritus" for the show. Before becoming the official scorekeeper for the NPR news quiz show in 1998, Carl anchored the newscast for Morning Edition.

Ron Cogswell / Creative Commons

It's Monday. That means our show is The Scramble, where we make a lot of decisions on a last minute basis. We asked our super guest, Marc Tracy of The New Republic, to pick three topics about which Colin would quickly get up to speed. 

Post-game interviews of NFL players are almost always predictable and boring. They go something like this:

Reporter: "Congratulations. How did you guys turn the game around?"

Player: "One play at a time. The team stuck together. We worked hard. The good Lord was with us. The fans were great. Hi, Mom!"

Michael Travers/iStock / Thinkstock

Ever since The New York Daily News published the audio of a phone call to the radio show of an Oregon grunge anarcho-primitivist, I've been wondering what the hell to do with what appears to be the sound of Adam Lanza talking, about a year before the Newtown shootings.

The recent appeals court ruling that overturned a FCC regulation requiring Internet Service Providers to treat all online services equally, known as “net neutrality,” may mean higher costs for Netflix and other online services.

But it also could have an upside for Netflix: the company may be able to pay to ensure that its content streams faster and in higher quality than its competition. Or the company can refuse to pay more money for high speed Internet.

someone 10X

Today is Monday. That's when we do the show on the fly. We call it The Scramble and one of the twists we're trying is the reverse of ordinary public radio guest booking. Usually, we start with a topic and try to find the best possible guests. But, for one segment of The Scramble each week, we pick a guest we want to talk to and then ask him or her what the topic should be. The idea is to pick an interesting person and then find out what's on that person's mind right now. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Chris Christie's administration is under fire for ordering  lane closures  that blocked access to the George Washington Bridge for four days last September, indulging in an egomaniacal fantasy of vengeance against a political foe who refused to recognize the Christie administration's self-professed superiority.

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