Long Live Public TV – Sometimes

Long Live Public TV – Sometimes

Back on May 28, 2009, I excoriated (is that a word?) WNET which manages two PubTV outlets, the eponymous WNET, New York City (Channel 13), and WLIW, Garden City, NY (Channel 21). This was over a film about Miles Davis, when the newspaper reported that This Old House would air.

My beef was that they do not always broadcast what the newspaper TV guides and my cable provider’s listing says will be broadcast. For this reason, and because I want to record certain music programming on my DVR and the programming is missing, I quit my memberships in both stations.

I had spoken, more than once, to people representing both stations who just said it was not their fault, that they had no control over what went into the newspapers and cable guides.

Well, a funny thing happened. WNET has alerts set to pick up any chatter about them on the internet. So, someone picked up my weblog (amazing, the spellchecker tells me weblog is not correct, even though that *is* the original word for what this thing is, a weblog) entry and got it to the right guy. This guy took the time and trouble to find me and my telephone number and call me. We had a nice chat. He said yes, there is a problem, which originates with the organization that gets the schedules and distributes them to apparently all of the news media. So, if there is an error, every news outlet has the same error.

Although neither of us was sure about the Miles Davis thing, the person from WNET sited as an example two WLIW schedules, one for Channel 21, and one for a different WLIW channel which was in fact broadcasting the This Old House episode that I mentioned in my original post. If I interpreted it correctly, the disseminating organization had mixed up the two schedules completely, just flip-flopped them.

So, I got my mea culpa. Is that what I wanted? No. I want the schedules to be correct. I do not want to have to go to the stations’ web sites to see the schedules. But the conversation was enought to assuage my pain and I will now re-join both WLIW and WNET. As said in my original post, both stations are “top shelf” and do a great job.

I did not feel any guilt at using the stations without being a member. But I did miss being a member. I want to be a member of any Public outlet, Radio or TV, that I use. Membership is the only legitimate ticket to being a critic. I learned that at WNYC my real home as a member in Public Media.

As soon as I put up this post, I will hotsie my browser over to the two stations and re-up, always at the minimum.

Gee, I wonder if WNYC, WBGO, WPRB, and KUSC have alerts up and see everything I say about them.