Tuesday roundup: Dingell to retire, PBS vs. NPR in March Madness, #SheDocs returns

By Dru Sefton

• U.S. Rep. John Dingell, who helped sign the 1967 Public Broadcasting Act into law and remained a staunch supporter of pubcasting, is retiring after a record 58 years in Congress. “I find serving in the House to be obnoxious,” the 88-year-old Michigan Democrat said at a Monday luncheon. “It’s become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets.”

What pubmedia personality will emerge victorious next month? (Image: WHYY)

What pubmedia personality will emerge victorious next month? (Image: WHYY)

• March Madness is approaching quickly, but this bracket competition has nothing to do with basketball. WHYY in Philadelphia is sponsoring PBS vs. NPR: Public Media Madness, which encourages pubmedia fans to vote for their favorite TV and radio personalities. Who will dish the best smack talk — Peter Sagal or Mister Rogers?

• Broadcasters filed a brief with the Supreme Court Monday in advance of oral arguments regarding the TV-streaming service Aereo, reports Variety. The brief argues that Aereo is violating the Copyright Act by allowing subscribers with remote antennas to watch streaming broadcast content without seeking approval from stations. PBS and WNET are among the broadcasters who brought the suit, American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo.

• Designer Eileen Fisher, the Independent Television Service and the Women and Girls Lead campaign are sponsoring #SheDocs, their second annual online film festival, in March. The project showcases 12 docs recognizing women and their accomplishments in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Last year’s festival attracted more than 122,000 online viewers.

• WBEZ in Chicago is launching its first pledge-free stream for its spring pledge drive starting March 6, according to the station. The audio stream allows members who give $15 a month or more or a one-time donation of at least $40 to hear a web stream of the station’s broadcast without the pledge drive. An FAQ is here.

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