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PBS Couldn't Make Time for Bill Moyers' New Show

Legendary broadcaster Bill Moyers is returning to television, flush with $2 million in foundation funding, but PBS opted not to carry his “Moyers & Company.” American Public Television will instead distribute the interview show for free to stations around the country.

In a statement, media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting said: “Showcasing viewpoints not often heard on commercial media is precisely the point of public broadcasting. But few of the shows distributed by PBS aspire to that goal, as FAIR’s numerous studies of public broadcasting have shown (Extra!, 11/10). Moyers’ return is good news for viewers seeking diverse and dissenting viewpoints. PBS’ failure to find a suitable time slot for such a show demonstrates once more that the network’s understanding of its mission is sharply at odds with the founding vision of an independent, critical public broadcasting system.”— PZS

The New York Times:

The program will be based at WNET in New York City and distributed free to public television stations by American Public Television, an alternative distributor to PBS. Stations will be able to broadcast it at whatever time they choose. In a letter to public television executives announcing the new program, Mr. Moyers, who is 77, said that WNET was looking at showing the program on Sundays at 6 p.m.

Earlier this year, Mr. Moyers, who retired from PBS in April 2010, said he had received $2 million in financing from the Carnegie Corporation of New York for the new show, but PBS had told him it couldn’t find an appropriate time slot.

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