- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Public Broadcasting Service is expected to name its next president Monday, according to a PBS spokeswoman.

The Museum of Television & Radio, a nonprofit organization based in New York and Los Angeles, last week named current PBS President Pat Mitchell as its next president effective March 15. She announced last year that she would be leaving PBS this spring.

Initially, the PBS search committee planned to share its recommendation with the broadcaster’s board of directors during its meeting next month.

But following Ms. Mitchell’s announcement, the committee decided to reveal its choice on Sunday and that person’s name is expected to be made public Monday , said PBS spokeswoman Lea Sloan.

Ms. Mitchell was at a conference in Utah yesterday and unavailable to comment, but in a Jan. 10 memo to the PBS board, she wrote about consulting with Chairwoman Mary Bitterman about the timing of her move and being “available as needed to complete the thoughtful transition of leadership that was the goal of my early announcement.”

In a Jan. 11 memo to PBS staffers, Ms. Bitterman wrote of Ms. Mitchell’s six years of service as “a passionate and highly articulate advocate of public broadcasting, a true evangelist spreading the ‘good news’ of public-service media.”

In other PBS news, the service’s Web site plans today to debut its MediaShift blog, which will explore how new forms of digital media are changing American society and culture. Mark Glaser, a digital media commentator, will host the blog.

WPGC wins ratings race

Urban music station WPGC-FM 95.5 regained the top spot in the Arbitron Inc. ratings released yesterday for fall 2005, bumping WMMJ-FM Majic 102.3 to second place after it displaced the longtime ratings leader in the summer book.

Howard University’s WHUR-FM 96.3 finished third, followed by WASH-FM 97.1 and classical music station WGMS-FM, which recently moved to 104.1 from its previous dial location at 103.5.

The rankings are based on the average quarter-hour (AQH) share for listeners 12 and older, which measures the percentage of people in the Washington area listening to a specific station in 15-minute periods throughout the day.

Since the summer, the biggest movers in the top 10 were WMAL-AM 630, which jumped four spots to a tie for seventh place with WTOP-AM 1500, which moved up from a tie for 13th place in the market.

If WTOP’s AM share numbers were combined with its FM ratings from 107.7, it would have edged out WPGC for the top spot. WTOP will be combining those numbers starting with the winter ratings, said Jim Farley, WTOP’s vice president of news and programming.

Bigger ratings news is expected in April, when the winter numbers are released. That will be the first full book since shock jock Howard Stern left for satellite radio and since Bonneville International switched the homes of WGMS and WTOP.

The winter ratings period started Jan. 5 and ends March 29. Bonneville will have combined ratings numbers reported for the four stations that now carry WTOP, Mr. Farley said.

WTOP’s traditional homes on 1500 AM and 107.7 FM (which will become Washington Post Radio on March 30) will be combined for one Arbitron ratings number and the news station’s new dial locations on 103.5 FM and 820 AM will be combined for the other number, Mr. Farley said.

• Channel Surfing runs Wednesdays. Call 202/636-3173 or e-mail dcat@washingtontimes.com.

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