Classical music gets its savior (again)

The sharp observor may have detected that I don't write nearly enough about classical music. This could be attributed to some combination of ignorance and circumstance.

Here's an exception: On Wednesday, PBS gives prime time over to a zestful young conductor, still not quite 30.

This is the story I sent to papers. If you're reading this in the Lansing, Mich., area, keep in mind that the Tavis Smiley hour will be pushed to WKAR World (23.4), because of a Gov. Granholm interview:


OK, here are TV's 10 best

The best thing about 10-best lists is that they let us fume, fret and argue -- to ourselves, to anyone nearby or to whoever created the offending list.

With that in mind, here's the story I just sent to papers, with my picks for the 10 best shows of 2010. Fell free to commence griping, by posting a comment here or simply upsetting your neighbors:



Amid the cascade of 10-best lists,
there's an annual trend:

Join the "Circus" on TV

This is the week when two terrific mini-series begin peaking inside colorful show-business worlds. "Moguls & Movie Stars" is from 8-9 p.m. for seven Mondays on Turner Classic Movies; "Circus" is from 9-11 p.m. for three Wednesdays on most PBS stations.

I found the "Circus" people especially interesting to talk to. Here's the story I sent to papers; if you're reading this after the first episode aired, check www.pbs.org:


The good old (and bad old) days of newspaper power

As newspapers struggle for their place in a multi-media world, it's fun to look back at the days when they had it all.

That's the focus of "Inventing L.A.," a terrific documentary that most PBS stations air tonight (Monday). It tells about the generations in which the Los Angeles Times used its power badly -- and about recent decades, when it used it wonderfully. Here's a story I wrote for papers: