‘This Old House’ marks 30th season by fighting back against housing crisis
Messiah Franklin walks to work along Woodbine Street in Roxbury, past foreclosed and boarded up homes, and by signs that read “private property” and “beware of dog.” But as he reaches the end of the street, he is overwhelmed by a sense of purpose.
Franklin, 20, says he is inspired by the sight of workers and a camera crew buzzing around a formerly abandoned two-family home that is being restored by the Public Broadcasting Service program “This Old House.” …
Celebrating the show’s 30th season, producers of Boston-based “This Old House’’ are returning to the show’s roots with the Woodbine Street house. Episodes featuring the makeover will start airing in Boston in February. The site of the project is only a few blocks away from the Dorchester location of the first house targeted by the TV show, which has won 17 Emmy Awards and spawned a long line of renovation-themed programs, a magazine, books, and a popular website.
Blues fans may get the blues when they hear WGBH’s plans for programming changes.
’GBH spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins confirmed to us yesterday that if the FCC approves the station’s purchase of WCRB-FM, a classical station based in Waltham, the station will cancel “Folk on WGBH’’ and “Blues on WGBH,’’ which air on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, respectively. The blues show is hosted by Brendan Hogan, while folk is hosted by Naomi Arenberg and Brad Paul.
Hopkins explained that WGBH wants to carry classical music on one station (WCRB’s 99.5) and news and information on the other (WGBH’s 89.7). She said that blues and folk fans have other ways to find their genres of choice in Boston, and that ’GBH wants to keep its programming unique.
“We’ve carried both of these for many years and we’ve been proud do it. We’re very proud of the contributions,’’ she said. Hopkins said there will be no programming changes until the deal goes through.
Deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of former ’GBHer Jeanne Brodeur, who passed away Mon, 10/19 in California, where she served as VP for Development at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Jeanne started at WGBH in the 1970s right out of college, and worked in the Development department until 1980. She was an enthusiastic fundraiser who helped pioneer the idea of giving premiums to donors – including WGBH golf umbrellas in the mid ’70s that dotted the Boston metro area for years to come.
PBS stations everywhere followed WGBH’s fundraising lead, thanks in large part to Jeanne’s contributions.
No flowers, please, but those wishing to make a contribution in Jeanne’s honor may do so to Emerson College, Jeanne Brodeur Scholarship, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116-4624.
From Lo Hartnett — 10/19/2009
A good friend and colleague is gone, but we are very fortunate to have known her – learned from her, and laughed with her…a LOT.
Jeanne’s GBH tenure was in the 70′s thru 1980 in the Development Department. Jeanne was VP Development for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA.
Jeanne with John Kerr, Amy Meyers, myself, Marilyn Bernardo, Helen Fox, Jo Madden, and others learned our fund raising skill through trial and error. We shared our successes with stations around the country — a leadership trend in fund raising that WGBH continues today.
Those were fun times when we were learning our fund raising craft. I remember when Jeanne had an umbrella salesman come to the station (1974-75?). She was positive that if we offered a big golf umbrella for a contribution, viewers would contribute. As was the usually the case, Jeanne was spot on. WGBH golf umbrellas could be seen all over the Boston metro area while stations around the country adopted this success. And then came the tote bags…..
There are so many stories of those early days when Jeanne or John brought an idea home from a meeting and asked Amy, Me, Marilyn, and Helen Fox if it could be done. Jeanne’s ‘can do’ attitude was most infectious as most of you know. Together we built a solid fund raising program on the foundation Jeanne helped pour at ‘GBH and throughout the PBS system.
From Jim Lewis — 10/19/2009
Jeanne and Amy were two of my early mentors. Jeanne and I shared lots of laughs, as Mike Greenwald will well remember. The world is a bit less brighter this morning.
From John Kerr — 10/19/2009
I received the sad news from all of you simultaneously as I opened my laptop on this rainy afternoon. I’m parked along a narrow roadway way up in the remote northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park, where I’m winding up my fifth post-’GBH retirement year as a ranger and living my dream. It’s raining hard.
And there, right there above the sage against Specimen Butte, is an enormous, multi-color, complete rainbow.
I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Jeanne put it there. That would be like her.
Most of those in public broadcasting — and especially at WGBH — stand on Jeanne’s shoulders. She was the bedrock, the doer, the grit, the inspiration, the energy, the smile, the never-say-no person who made a lot of it happen.
Travel well, Jeanne, and thank you for everything.
I’m pretty sure that you’re already at work reorganizing Heaven and putting together a Development Plan.
From Amy Meyers — 10/20/2009
Jeanne and I first met at WGBH/Channel 2, public television (and WGBH/FM public radio) in Boston. John Kerr was our boss. This was Jeanne’s first job out of college. When President Nixon vetoed the federal funding bill to support public broadcasting in the winter of 1973, public television stations went on the air to solicit support from viewers. While some stations had already dabbled in on-air fundraising, this was really the start of all those pledge drives with which we’re now all too familiar.
Jeanne’s training at Emerson and innate confidence immediately made her a role model and mentor for all who were suddenly thrust in front of the camera to encourage viewers to pay for something they could get for free. I remember marveling at her ease when she’d return from a conference and tell me that during a visit to the public TV station where the conference was being held, she immediately went on air and started “pitching.” There she was, already leading and teaching.
From the The Pacific Shores Hematology-Oncology Foundation
Jeanne Brodeur: Battling Cancer Woman to Woman
“The Woman to Woman Campaign provides deserving and financially needy women undergoing cancer treatment with access to tests, procedures, investigational drugs, and other life-saving medical expenses that can extend their lives and increase their quality of life.”
Halfway into the second episode, “Latin Music USA’’ compels – no, forces – you to sit up in your chair and wonder what rock you’ve been hiding under for the past 40 years. The salsa revolution, we learn, got a rip-roaring start in New York in the late 1960s, and watching the Fania All-Stars essentially dismantle a packed Yankee Stadium with blazing beats and ferocious energy is the equivalent of beholding Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.
But as actor Jimmy Smits’s narration points out, it was a watershed event that played largely to a Hispanic audience with little ripple outside the city’s barrios. That singular moment, spectacular for its musical and cultural impact, burrows deep into the heart and soul of “Latin Music USA,’’ WGBH’s new four-part documentary series.
The series, which debuts Oct. 12 on Channel 2, makes a startling case that its subject matter had been ignored for far too long. Divided into four segments, the documentary traces Latin music’s infiltration first in Harlem’s jazz clubs in the 1930s and its spinoff dance crazes, through the salsa explosion and regional movements that birthed Tejano and Chicano rock, to its eventual crossover into popular music.
Public TV and radio giant WGBH will buy one of the country’s few remaining 24-hour commercial classical radio stations, WCRB 99.5 FM, station officials said today.
WGBH officials would not disclose the price, saying that the deal had not been reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission. WGBH already operates the radio stations WGBH 89.7 in Boston and WCAI and WNCK on the Cape and islands.
“It’s a fabulous opportunity,” said WGBH spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins. “It comes along rarely and we felt able to make the acquisition work financially and in every other way.”
The move comes less than two months after WGBH said it would lay off employees because of projected budget shortfalls in 2010. WGBH has seen revenues from viewers, corporations and foundations diminish.
Hopkins said officials at WGBH had not yet decided on a format for 89.7, or how WCRB will interact with WGBH’s own classical music programming, which airs most mornings. Asked if there could be more layoffs, Hopkins said it was too early to say what the change would mean for employees at both stations.
WCRB, headquartered in Waltham, has a storied reputation in New England as “Boston’s classical station.” Broadcasting for more than 60 years, the station has 340,000 listeners weekly and is owned by Nassau Broadcasting Partners LP, a New Jersey company that owns 52 stations, mostly in the Northeast. Nassau purchased WCRB from Greater Media in 2006.
Officials at Nassau could not be reached this afternoon.
WGBH said it will finance the purchase by beginning a capital campaign donation drive called Keep Classical Alive.