In his first appearance in his new role, Ken Ferree, acting president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, assured attendees of the Public Radio Leadership Conference meeting in Washington that he listens to public radio and watches public television.
Public broadcasting offers up a healthy alternative to the "fried foods" of commercial media, he said. "No matter what you may have read or heard about me, I'm committed to public broadcasting."
A recent New York Times Magazine article about him that quoted him as saying he didn't watch much public television or listen often to public radio was inaccurate, he told Radio World.
The former head of the FCC's Mass Media Bureau joined CPB six weeks ago as vice president and COO; the board named him acting president after President/CEO Kathleen Cox resigned suddenly in early April.
He urged attendees to think about trends in the media industry, such as individual wants and specialization. "This is now the 'My Yahoo' generation," referring to younger listeners that radio must start targeting.
At the same time, CPB is talking to stations about expanding the applicant pool for program grants, he said, in order to reach a wider audience and simplify the grants process.
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