Last year the Smithsonian and the cable network Showtime announced that they had entered a thirty year contract to create a new, on-demand digital TV enterprise, thereby creating some competition for The Hitler Channel.
Couch potatoes might rejoice, but historians are a little more dubious. As summed up in this morning's bulletin from the National Coalition for History:
Members of Congress and other stakeholders, including the National Coalition for History, raised issues concerning the contract's potential effects on public access to and use of the Smithsonian's collections, its confidential nature, and the process by which the Smithsonian negotiated the agreement. However, in December, the Government Accountability Office issued a report finding that the Smithsonian followed its internal contracting guidelines regarding competition, oversight, and conflicts of interest.
Since then, some developments:
David Royle, executive vice president for programming and production at Smithsonian Networks, was interviewed in the "Washington Post" and said that they were still in negotiations with satellite and cable television companies to make the channel available as an on-demand program. However, he stated that the Smithsonian and Showtime are considering transforming the venture into a traditional network channel such as the Discovery Networks or the National Geographic channel.
You can get an early look at what the Smithsonian Channel's schedule might look like here.
Should anybody want to follow up on my idea for a series called Oh, Those Trotskyists! (a half hour situation-comedy epic spanning sixty years in the life of a revolutionary groupuscule in the auto industry) please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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rock culture approximately
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Douglas McLennan's blog
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No genre is the new genre
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Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
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Fresh ideas on building arts communities
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Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
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John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog