According to a report in the New York Times (8/22/11), public television icon Bill Moyers will be back on the public airwaves next year–but not on PBS.
The new show, Moyers & Company, will be distributed to stations for free by American Public Television. The Times reports that “PBS told Moyers it couldn’t find an appropriate timeslot.”
The Times adds that the show “will focus on one-on-one interviews with people not often heard on television.”
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‘s failure to find a suitable timeslot 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.