Series Archives: The Future of Public Radio

Public Radio goes Hollywood!

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series The Future of Public Radio

Note: This piece has been picked up by KYOU Radio, in San Francisco, and it’s also been mentioned on Current.org and the PRPD site — thanks for that!

PRPD
Public radio could easily be described as a smashing success story. Take NPR, for example. From its counter-cultural roots in the early 1970s, it has grown to become one of the most trusted sources of journalism in the United States. Although it still is accused of liberal bias, an equal number of liberals and conservatives find themselves drawn to its reassuring sound. So – what’s the problem? Like newspapers and symphony orchestras, public radio has a graying audience and it is having trouble attracting younger people and minorities. So today, in order to stay viable, public radio’s job is to reach out to new listeners. But at what cost, if any?
ThoughtCast attended the Public Radio Program Directors Association conference this September in Hollywood, and spoke with:

Jeff Hansen, program director at KUOW in Seattle
Mike Crane, COO of Wisconsin Public Radio
John Voci, the general manager of WGBH radio in Boston
Jennifer Ferro, assistant general manager of KCRW in Santa Monica
Sam Fleming, managing director of news and programs at WBUR, Boston
Chris Bannon, program director of WNYC in New York City.

Click here: to listen (7 minutes).

Posted on October 8, 2008 in Public Media
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The Future of Public Radio: Part 5

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series The Future of Public Radio

This is the final series of ThoughtCast interviews conducted at the Public Radio Program Directors conference in Philadelphia.

Maria Thomas is the VP and general manager of NPR digital media. As such, she oversees the development and distribution of NPR content to the Internet, mobile phones and the like. Need I say more?
Click here: (3 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Lucio Mesquita is the head of the Americas and Europe for the BBC World Service. He is thoughtful, almost philosophical, and in this interview he takes me to task for my quest for ‘purity’ in public broadcasting. He also discusses opera, soap opera, Shakespeare, silent movies, and of course, the BBC! I had to save the last word of my ‘Future of Public Radio’ series for Lucio.
Click here: (11:30 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Click here for part 1 featuring the BBC’s Phil Harding, WHYY’s Elisabeth Perez-Luna and Jay Kernis, a senior veep at NPR.
Click here for part 2 with Michael Arnold of PRI, MPBN’s Nikki Shields and WUNC’s George Boosey.
Click here for part 3 with the BBC’s Liliane Landor, On Point’s Karen Shiffman and Eric Nuzum of NPR.
Click here for part 4 with Iowa Pubic Radio’s Todd Mundt, Jackie Sauter with NCPR and Andrew Haeg of MPR.

Posted on September 26, 2006 in Public Media
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The Future of Public Radio: Part 4

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series The Future of Public Radio

This is a continuing series of ThoughtCast interviews conducted at the Public Radio Program Directors conference in Philadelphia.Todd Mundt is one of the Young Turks in public media — he even has an influential blog. Todd recently left Michigan Public Media to take a job in his home state at Iowa Public Media. I’d keep your eye out for some upheaval there (in a good way!)
Click here: (5 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Program director Jackie Sauter admits she’s no pro when it comes to newfangled Internet contraptions. But that hasn’t kept her from moving North Country Public Radio online.
Click here: (5 1/2 minutes) to listen to the interview, and click here to read a PRX review of my interview with Jackie Sauter.

Andrew Haeg is the senior producer of Public Insight Journalism at Minnesota Public Radio, which is a fresh new way to interact with — and learn from — your audience.
Click here: (4 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Click here for part 1 featuring the BBC’s Phil Harding, WHYY’s Elisabeth Perez-Luna and Jay Kernis, a senior veep at NPR.
Click here for part 2 with Michael Arnold of PRI, MPBN’s Nikki Shields and WUNC’s George Boosey.
Click here for part 3 with the BBC’s Liliane Landor, On Point’s Karen Shiffman and Eric Nuzum of NPR.
Click here for part 5 with Maria Thomas of NPR and Lucio Mesquita of the BBC.

Posted on September 25, 2006 in Public Media
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The Future of Public Radio: Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series The Future of Public Radio

This is a continuing series of ThoughtCast interviews conducted at the Public Radio Program Directors conference in Philadelphia.

Liliane Landor is the commanding editor of news and current affairs at the BBC World Service. And as a member of the BBC’s Creative Future for journalism team, she’s already devoted a good deal of time to the questions bedevilling public broadcasting. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why she has some tough comments to make about public broadcasting here in America…
Click here: (6 1/2 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Eric Nuzum is NPR’s refreshing, colorful director of programming and acquisitions. We spoke in an exceedingly noisy room, so this interview is short and loud. If it leaves you hungry for more, try this.
Click here: (2 1/2 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Karen Shiffman is senior associate producer for On Point, the smart, approachable NPR program hosted by Tom Ashbrook and produced at WBUR in Boston. She gives us a glimpse of its inner workings.
Click here: (5 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Click here for part 1 featuring the BBC’s Phil Harding, WHYY’s Elisabeth Perez-Luna and Jay Kernis, a senior veep at NPR.
Click here for part 2 with Michael Arnold of PRI, MPBN’s Nikki Shields and WUNC’s George Boosey.
Click here for part 4 with Iowa Pubic Radio’s Todd Mundt, Jackie Sauter with NCPR and Andrew Haeg of MPR.
Click here for part 5 with Maria Thomas of NPR and Lucio Mesquita of the BBC.

Posted on September 24, 2006 in Public Media
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The Future of Public Radio: Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series The Future of Public Radio

This is a continuing series of ThoughtCast interviews conducted at the Public Radio Program Directors conference in Philadelphia. George Boosey, the program director for North Carolina Public Radio, is a bigwig in public broadcasting. Might he also be a contrarian? Certainly he’s more circumspect than many of his colleagues when it comes to the bells and whistles of the new ‘new media’.
Click here: (9 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Nikki Shields is the program manager for Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Hers is a loyal audience — for the time being. And Nikki plans to keep it that way.
Click here: (4 1/2 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Michael Arnold is the director of programming for Public Radio International, which distributes Christopher Lydon’s Open Source, the BBC World Service, This American Life and more. PRI’s the newer kid on the block, and as such, may well be scrappier — and quicker at adapting to the new world of the Web 2.0.
Click here: (5 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Click here for part 1 featuring the BBC’s Phil Harding, Elisabeth Perez-Luna, and Jay Kernis, a senior veep at NPR.
Click here for part 3 with the BBC’s Liliane Landor, On Point’s Karen Shiffman, and Eric Nuzum of NPR.
Click here for part 4 with Iowa Public Radio’s Todd Mundt, Jackie Sauter with NCPR and Andrew Haeg of MPR.
Click here for part 5 with Maria Thomas of NPR and Lucio Mesquita of the BBC.

Posted on September 23, 2006 in Public Media
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The Future of Public Radio: Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series The Future of Public Radio
PRPD
Annually, public radio programmers from across the nation (and overseas) gather to talk shop. This year, the mood at the Public Radio Program Directors Association conference in Philadelphia was one of concern. With many listeners newly entranced by the gadgets and gizmos of the 21st century — podcasts, blogs, satellite radio, streaming audio — it all adds up to one intimidating fact: the consumers of today’s ‘content’ want it on their terms. And the old guard of public radio now realizes it has some catching up to do. But therein lies the opportunity, and the reason why many of the more adventuresome attendees had a spring in their step.

For starters, here’s Jay Kernis, the senior VP of programming at National Public Radio:
Click here: (9 1/2 minutes) to listen to the interview.

Also in attendance was a contingent of BBC World Service cognoscenti, who brought their own brand of blunt charm to the affair. Key among the charmers was Phil Harding, director of English Network and News.
Click here: (7 minutes) to listen to the interview.

But with Elisabeth Perez-Luna in attendance, the Americans were able to hold their own. Currently, she’s the news director and the executive producer of national radio programming at WHYY:
Click here: (12 minutes) to listen to the interview.

And there’s more!

  • WUNC’s George Boosey, Nikki Shields of Maine Public Radio & Michael Arnold of PRI
  • the BBC’s Liliane Landor, On Point’s Karen Shiffman & Eric Nuzum of NPR
  • Iowa Public Radio’s Todd Mundt, Jackie Sauter with NCPR & MPR’s Andrew Haeg
  • Maria Thomas of NPR & Lucio Mesquita of the BBC.

Note: to read a PRX review of my interview with Jackie Sauter (part 4) click here:

Posted on September 20, 2006 in Public Media
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