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Whither PBS? Boston Globe article

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#1 dirac


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Posted 19 August 2002 - 09:37 AM

Suzanne Ryan talks to Peter McGhee, vice president of national programming of WGBH in Boston, who is retiring , and unhappy about the course public television programming is taking. From the Sunday Boston Globe:

http://www.boston.co..._departs .shtml

#2 Alexandra


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Posted 19 August 2002 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for posting this, dirac.

Sob. We're in the middle of the three (or is it 23?) times a year pledge drive, and so the programming is all HOW TO MAKE A MILLION DOLLARS OVERNIGHT SCREAM SCREAM SCREAM and How to Get In Touch With Your Inner Karma, mixed with endless, absolutely endless, concerts by very old rock stars. This is appealing to the young? And the 999th rerun of Antiques Roadshow and As Time Goes By?

If I had to choose one quote from McGhee, it would be this one:

"''The people who probably don't watch much of anything are taken with the notion that, well, there are all these other services offering what public television is offering, so why do we need it? Isn't there a History Channel? Isn't there a CNN? Isn't everything already there? The answer is no, not by a long shot. ... We try to say something that hasn't been said before, not simply rehash what is already known. We don't shoot things down because people won't be interested in them. ... It's our job to make people interested.''

"It's our job to make people interested." That, to me, is at the bottom of so many of the issues we talk about. It goes to newspaper coverage, magazines dropping dance reviews, what's on television, what's in your company's repertory this year. There's no confidence that I've seen something really good and want to tell you about it, no risk taking (this Beethoven fellow really wowed them in the salons last year, but on the applause meter, he only scores a 6, so, sorry....)

If public television doesn't try to make people interested, who will? (obviously no one. I know. I know.)

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