Morning roundup: SCOTUS sets Aereo date, Burns gets GIF’d

By Andrew Lapin

• The U.S. Supreme Court has set a date for ABC TV v. Aereo, a challenge to the startup service that allows subscribers to watch TV programs over the Internet via miniature antennae. Oral arguments are scheduled for April 21. Though ABC brought the lawsuit, filed in New York and Boston, PBS and New York’s WNET are also among the parties claiming Aereo violates copyright law.

Ken Burns gif• Ken Burns participated in his first Reddit Ask Me Anything session Tuesday as part of the promotion for his new app. He laid out the planned release schedule for his next decade of films: The Roosevelts in September, A History of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies and Jackie Robinson  in 2015, Vietnam in 2016, Country Music in 2018 and Ernest Hemingway in 2019. He’d also like to update his Baseball series “every few years,” he said. Some Reddit commentators gave his photo “the Ken Burns effect” (also with sound).

• Filmmaker Dawn Porter has questioned why Washington, D.C.’s WETA isn’t airing her PBS documentary, Spies of Mississippi, during primetime slot in Black History Month.  But neither is the city’s WHUT, points out Indiewire’s Emmanuel Akitobi, and it’s even licensed to a historically black university (Howard). A station representative “didn’t seem to be familiar with the title” when Akitobi asked about it.

“To be fair,” Akitobi added, “it’s probably safe to assume that a majority of blacks in this country likely aren’t regular viewers of PBS anyway, because PBS doesn’t regularly air programs that appeal to them.”

• Wired takes a tour through Radiolab host Jad Abumrad’s home studio, which includes $300 headphones and a vintage Moog synthesizer.

• Mike Pesca, who announced yesterday his move from NPR to Slate, wrote a long and wild goodbye memo to NPR staff before heading out the door. He fondly remembered departed NPR programs Day to Day and The Bryant Park Project and said of his departure: “While there is no single reason why I’m leaving, a big one is that they’re paying me to.”

• The Atlantic continues featuring clips from the American Archive of Public Broadcasting with a WGBH recording of the Boston Symphony Orchestra halting its Nov. 22, 1963 performance to announce the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Read the website’s first entry in the series.

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