Even before it first aired around 6:30 in the east, I knew the story about faculty retirement and contingents was going to miss the mark: the teaser at the beginning of the broadcast featured an older professor, and News Hour's initial framing took the "graying professors clogging the tenure pipeline" approach. I watched it with my wonderfully supportive wife, and we had similarly ambivalent reactions, sort of a You sounded great but they missed a lot of what you said response.
Overall, this feels like a pyrrhic victory: I'm grateful for the chance to call attention to universities' hiring practices and adjunctification–exploitation duo, yet I'm more than a little disappointed that the story I'd wanted to help tell was, at best, between the lines. Early and often, I preached against the Old Professors vs. Young Professors dynamic; it was one of the first things I said for the record during the initial phone interview. I preached for the idea that the real story is how universities have changed their hiring models to overuse non-tenured/tenure-track faculty, while helping the rich get richer, as it were. I'd hoped that they'd share the information I gave about the million-plus contingent faculty members of various kinds across the country, among other material that wasn't included. The number promises to go up before it goes down.
Post Script: According to both Paul Solman and the producer, they intend to do a more focused story on contingents, adjuncts, road scholars, and whatever other moniker applies. If you are interested, please email NewsHour: email@example.com