Info

Current's The Pub

Current's biweekly podcast about news and trends in public and nonprofit media.
RSS Feed
Current's The Pub
2018
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: Page 4
Oct 1, 2015

If you want to know how to impress the likes of WNYC, pay attention to how Robin Amer did it. Out of a global pool of 370 applicants, she was one of two winners of WNYC’s Podcast Accelerator competition last week and will now have the opportunity to pilot her show idea, "The City."

This week on The Pub, Amer talks about her big plans, also:

• Evan Smith, c.e.o. and editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune dishes his nonprofit’s secrets to raising money with live events (from a panel at the 2015 ONA conference moderated by Kai Ryssdal).
• Sabrina Roach talks about her job, which is quite possibly the most interesting and unusual in public media: a “doer” at Brown Paper Tickets. The ticketing company pays her to do nothing other than work to make public media stronger.

Sep 26, 2015

Anna Sale had three attributes that made her an ace political reporter in New York: a disarming demeanor, phenomenal listening ability and little respect for personal boundaries. Now she’s using those skills to do what she was born to do — getting people to talk about “the things we think about a lot and need to talk about more.” Host Adam Ragusea interviews the "Death, Sex & Money" before a live audience after hours at the Online News Association conference in Los Angeles.

Also on the show:

• "Reveal" host Al Letson and Curious City creator Jennifer Brandel compete in a quiz game we call, “No one can resist my Schweddy Balls,” in which they identify appearances, references or parodies of public media in movies and TV.
• In the shadow of the Hollywood Hills, Ragusea argues that that public media could learn a thing or two about developing new hit shows from the commercial entertainment industry, with the help of Kim Masters, host of "The Business" on KCRW.

Sep 17, 2015

Public radio has historically had a well-documented problem: Some programs have tended to be WAY LOUDER than others. It’s still a problem, but thanks to a technological breakthrough, it’s getting better. Audio engineer Rob Byers tells us about new tools producers can use to address the problem. It's our sole topic on The Pub this week, and while it may seem nerdy, we promise that an hour of listening will equip you to produce noticeably more listenable audio for a lifetime.

Sep 10, 2015

The most famous general manager in public radio, Torey Malatia, is going to try again with another station.

The former longtime head of WBEZ in Chicago, who resigned from the position under pressure in 2013, starts Monday as the new president, c.e.o. and general manager of Rhode Island Public Radio in Providence. Malatia tells us he still wants to experiment with new models of reaching different audiences and building community, and a smaller station like RIPR might be the ideal place to do it.

Also on the show:

- A conversation with two of the youngest general managers in public media: 30-year-old Michelle Srbinovich of WDET radio in Detroit, and 32-year-old Emily Martin Loya of KCOS-TV in El Paso, Texas.

- Host Adam Ragsuea's thoughts on the BBC’s new plan to offer free content to local newspapers.

Sep 3, 2015

NPR's "Weekend All Things Considered" is about to get a new host as Michel Martin takes over from Arun Rath and production moves back to Washington from NPR West. As NPR reboots its most-tinkered-with show yet again with a new host and a new executive producer, we talk to outgoing EP Steve Lickteig on The Pub about the unique production ethos that he says boosted ratings over the last two years.

Also on the show this week:

- Classical California president Brenda Barnes mounts an impassioned and data-driven defense of classical music radio, following American Public Media and Houston Public Media’s recent sales of all-classical stations. She also responds to Planet Money co-founder Adam Davidson’s recent assertion on The Pub that classical radio “is not an appropriate use of public funds.”

- What the tiny French Polynesian island of Rapa Iti and media workplace culture have in common.

Aug 27, 2015

Scoring, sound effects, scene, narrative — they’re the hottest tools in the hands of today’s most innovative audio journalists, and yet they come from the very non-journalistic world of fiction.

“We have the popularity of narrative nonfiction. Well, that’s just us as journalists pulling concepts from fiction and putting it into nonfiction,” veteran independent producer and audio fiction evangelist Ann Heppermann told me on The Pub. “So, in a way, it’s like fiction is going to take it back, you know?”

On this week’s episode, Heppermann plays us some of the exciting, genre-bending fictional work she commissioned for the website of The Sarah Awards, a new international competition she has co-founded with the support of Sarah Lawrence College to spur a new generation of audio-fiction creators.

Also on the show:

- Host Adam Ragusea and Nieman Lab director Joshua Benton discuss the ways in which public media’s internal values might not jive with those of the audience.

- A conversation with Dave Dickey, the recently retired head of Illinois Public Media’s agricultural service, about public media’s ongoing role serving rural communities.

Also: We’re doing a live show in Los Angeles Sept. 25! Seats are very limited, so go here to register for your free tickets.

Aug 20, 2015

On this week’s episode of The Pub, host Adam Ragusea offers his thoughts on the "Sesame Street" news. We also revisit an old conversation with PBS Vice President for Children’s Programming Linda Simensky about the thus-far futile search for the next Fred Rogers, Sesame Street’s role as an emblem for all of public media, and the new kids’ shows on PBS that are trying to honor the legacy and values of the classic programs.

Also on the show:

- In another encore segment, Deanna Garcia of WESA in Pittsburgh takes us to an exhibit of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood set pieces on display at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.

- A guide for how to pick theme music for your show, and how not to.

Aug 13, 2015

Probably no one knows as much about both public radio and economics as Adam Davidson does. So when he emails us and says he’s been developing a grand economic theory about how podcasting is (or should be) changing public radio, you can bet we’re going to give him 45 minutes to talk about it. Davidson compares public radio’s current market position to that of the big three American automakers — Ford, GM and Chrysler — in the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

Also on the show:

- We consider "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace" and the magic of Britain’s Channel 4, a public media entity that exists to commission daring work from independent producers.

- What is this “public benefit corporation” thing that Ira Glass is forming to run "This American Life"?

- Michigan Radio p.d. Tamar Charney and host Adam Ragusea disagreed over podcasting but without getting disagreeable. NPR CEO Jarl Mohn and reporter Zoe Chace? Not so much.

Aug 6, 2015

This week on The Pub, Mike Pesca, host of Slate's podcast "The Gist." Pesca talks about life after NPR, how public media looks from the outside, his rabble-rousing interview with Kim Kardashian while sub-hosting "Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!" and whether he thinks NPR has heeded his parting advice to be more ambitious and daring. (He doesn’t.)

Also on the show:

- Gayle Wald on her new book about "Soul!", an early PBS show featuring black music, culture and radical politics that CPB defunded.

- Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Emily Jones on the real reason that women’s voices are the subject of so much scrutiny the days.

- Host Adam Ragusea reflects on the differences between podcasting and live radio.

Jul 30, 2015

Michael Oreskes, NPR’s new head of news, likes to say that if you add up all of the American public radio, TV and network journalists, they make up one of the nation’s largest news organizations. Or at least they would if they could act like one news organization. In this week’s episode, Oreskes and host Adam Ragusea discuss NPR's plans for closer station collaboration (including the touchy subject of whether NPR should keep paying freelance fees to station-based journalists for their national contributions), the recent reorganization at "All Things Considered," and the persistent accusations that NPR leans left.

Also on the show:

•Lindsay Patterson, host of The Tumble Podcast, asks, “Where is the YouTube for Podcasts?” We argue that public media should make the YouTube for podcasts, while she argues that YouTube should make the Youtube for podcasts.

•Based on your feedback, we count down the top 10 words or phrases that journalists and broadcasters should stop saying — not because they’re offensive, but because they’re dumb.

 

Jul 23, 2015

Southern California Public Radio’s recently concluded, three-year, $6 million CPB-funded quest to court Latino audiences met with its share of criticism along the way. How KPCC did it is the subject of the “Brown Paper,” a research report from the Latino Public Radio Consortium in which A Martínez, a Latino host with a background in commercial sports broadcasting, is portrayed as playing a key role for his crossover appeal to new audiences.

“Marketers and radio stations all around the country don’t know exactly what to do with this Latin-American market,” Martínez tells host Adam Ragusea. “They have no idea — like, ‘Well what do we do, do we put a lot of soccer on, and then are they going to like that?’ No, you put interesting things on. You put things [on] that are exciting, that people want to be a part of.”

Martínez joins the show this week with his colleague Edgar Aguirre, whom SCPR hired at this beginning of this process to handle multiethnic outreach. They both insist other stations can duplicate at least a bit of their success, even without $6 million in CPB money.

Also this week:

- Mike Pesca, former NPR sports correspondent and now host of Slate’s daily podcast The Gist, rebuts the argument from last week’s show that there are certain words we shouldn’t say on the air.

- Undaunted by Pesca’s argument, Pub listeners point out some of the words that are common on the air now that we should think about purging from our lexicons.

- Ragusea questions the fairness of media watchdog FAIR’s recent studies criticizing the lack of diversity on station boards and in regular commentator segments on NPR.

Jul 16, 2015

As more people use the NPR One app, NPR is finding out how long people listen to each segment, what they skip and what they share or like. “As people who make the craft of radio, getting this kind of information about how people listen to it is brand new and a little scary, but also priceless,” said Sara Sarasohn, who's in charge of content for NPR One.

This week’s on The Pub, recorded live in an actual pub (Lost & Found in Washington, D.C.), Sarasohn tells us what NPR is learning from this unprecedented peek at listeners' habits.

Also on the show:

- Current’s editors and reporters answer the public media questions you’ve always been afraid to ask, like “What do the hosts make?” and “I’m an intern, will I get a job?”

- Host Adam Ragusea contemplates NPR’s past use of “the R-word” (the racist name of Washington’s NFL team), and what other words we’re saying on the air that our children will be embarrassed to learn we ever said out loud.

- Live music buttons from Current’s Mike Janssen on banjo and Tyler Falk on shaker egg!

Jul 9, 2015

There’s increasingly money to be made in podcasting. But not much, and drooling over the modest amount to be had is like drooling over a bowl of moldy gruel — you only do it because you’re starving.

But eat we must. So this week we look at the intersection of podcasting and money — how podcasters can make money to support their podcasting, maybe even themselves. And maybe the gruel won’t look so moldy by the time we’re done.

We talked to a panel of podcasting experts at the Public Media Marketing and Development Conference in Washington, D.C.. Our guests:

  • Kerri Hoffman, c.o.o. at Public Radio Exchange, which distributes 13 podcasts through its Radiotopia network;
  • Wendy Turner, v.p. for digital and technical operations at WBEZ in Chicago; and
  • Erik Diehn, v.p. for business development at Midroll Media.

This episode is a co-production with Greater Public.

Jul 2, 2015

The BBC is cutting jobs, the future of its funding is in doubt, and it has enemies in high places. Host Adam Ragusea talks with veteran U.K. media reporter Maggie Brown, who catches us up on the latest BBC drama and speculates about the venerable Beeb’s future.

Also on the show:

Political scientist Patrick O’Mahen says his research proves countries that spend more money on public broadcasting have better-informed citizens.

Your host shares an old interview with podcaster Marc Maron that did not go the way it sounded in the final cut, and your feedback on a proposal to ensure honesty in editing by posting raw tape to the Internet.

Jun 25, 2015

NPR has joined a lobbying organization that appears to be fighting a proposed increase in royalties to musicians. For singer-songwriter and artist advocate David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven), it’s dismaying to see NPR run with that particular crowd. On The Pub, Lowery makes the case that public radio should get on what he sees as the right side of a matter of social justice.

Also on the show this week:

- Doug Mitchell, founder and director of NPR’s Next Generation Radio training project, says public radio needs more talent developers and scouts, like him.

- Host Adam Ragusea proposes a procedure to ensure honesty in editing.

Jun 18, 2015

It’s time for most, perhaps even all, public media journalists to abandon both the practice and the pretense of conventional impartiality. On this week's episode of The Pub, we revisit several of our recent commentaries and interviews on this subject.

Jun 11, 2015

Back in 2012, Jennifer Brandel had the best new idea in local news that anyone has had in a long time. Rather than report the same old stories, ask the audience: What have you always been curious about? Use democratic online tools to pick the best questions, then go out and answer them as best you can.

That was Curious City, a Localore project based at WBEZ in Chicago. It has since been imitated and replicated dozens of times over.

In January, Brandel started Curious Nation, a spin-off company designed to help franchise the Curious City model to other cities. Last week, Curious Nation became Hearken, and with the new name comes a new and broader mission: to help journalists do work that better reflects the information needs and desires of their audience.

Also this week:

- We conclude last week’s investigation into why some national program producers are opting to self-distribute their shows

- WHYY Vice President for News and Civic Dialogue Chris Satullo argues that stations shouldn’t just do journalism — they should support good community journalism, whoever is doing it

Jun 4, 2015

On this week’s episode of The Pub, Raney Aronson, the new executive producer of public TV's "Frontline," goes deep on the show's production process, her vision for its future, and even some of the stumbles she’s had with new initiatives, such as the transition from hourlong documentary films to 2-minute web videos.

Also this week:

  • WNYC decides to self-distribute "On the Media" and "Radiolab," and we explore what that actually means
  • WHRO President and CEO Bert Schmidt talks about how his station is now earning 40 percent of its revenue by creating educational materials
May 28, 2015

On this week's episode, Eric Nuzum discusses why he is stepping down as NPR's vice president for programming and taking a job at Audible.com. Also, KPBS Station Manager Deanna Martin Mackey talks about ways to grow the number of women in top public media positions, and listeners say that recent episodes on the ethical pitfalls of podcast advertising and Membership Video on Demand amount to slippery slope arguments.

May 21, 2015

On this week’s episode of The Pub, public radio Conor Gillies and host Adam Ragusea debate whether podcast ads are a threat to public media's integrity. Gillies wrote an excellent and widely shared piece last week for The Awl, “Podcasts and the Selling of Public Radio.”

Also on the show:

  • This American Life host Ira Glass responds to the response to his remarks about capitalism, and I respond to the response to the response
  • Is PBS’s plan to offer on-demand video to donors a violation of everything public media stands for?
  • WSKG’s Teresa Peltier and KLRU’s Sara Robertson discuss what young professionals are looking for in a public media workplace
May 14, 2015

In this week’s episode — recorded in front of a live audience at the PBS Annual Meeting in Austin — we contemplate the challenges and the opportunities involved in expanding public television to new audiences. We also learn that the current audience is more expansive than many of us might have thought.

Guests and topics include:

  • Sue Schardt on how the latest round of AIR’s Localore project could help make station programming more inclusive
  • PBS Vice President for Station Services Juan Sepúlveda on the challenges of reaching out to Hispanic audiences without “Hispandering” to them
  • Andi McDaniel, director of the Rewire initiative at Twin Cities Public Television, on how stations can reach younger audiences by going beyond television
  • Craig Reed, executive director of TRAC Media Services, on TRAC’s new project to perform a deep analysis of public media viewers and viewing habits
  • And host Adam Ragusea's thoughts on the impending divorce of PBS and PBS MediaShift, and what it may say about the public television system’s willingness or ability to truly change with the times
May 7, 2015

One of the most effective public radio fundraisers ever wants to quit doing pledge drives. That’s the only way host Adam Ragusea can interpret what This American Life host Ira Glass said to Ad Age last week. On this week’s episode of The Pub, we contemplate the notion that public radio’s biggest star evidently doesn’t want public radio to be public anymore.

Also on the show:

  • Former NPR digital strategist Melody Kramer argues that all public media content should be licensed under Creative Commons so that people can republish it
  • NPR’s top audio engineer Shawn Fox dishes on the “secret sauce” behind NPR’s bright, sharp studio microphone sound
  • Jonah Sutton-Morse rebuts Adam's justification for using favored pronouns when describing transsexual people 
Apr 30, 2015

What would make you give up on your dream gig? Former "Marketplace Money" host Tess Vigeland had to answer that question for herself. If you’re feeling itchy in your seat and thinking about a career change, don’t leap until you listen to this interview!

Also on this week’s show:

- Bruce Jenner reignites the debate over how news organizations should refer to transgender people

- Robert Drechsel, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin, considers WNET’s recently-received $20 million grant to fight anti-Semitism, and the ethical pitfalls of donors directing coverage priorities

Apr 23, 2015

Did one of public TV’s most revered figures really cede editorial control to a celebrity? It certainly looks that way to PBS ombudsman Michael Getler. On this episode, Ben Affleck's request to Henry Louis Gates and the aftermath.

Also, Current’s Dru Sefton dishes on the many other mentions of public media organizations and personalities she’s found in the leaked Sony emails.

CBC gadfly Jesse Brown returns to The Pub to dissect the CBC’s internal investigation into how former "Q" host Jian Ghomeshi allegedly got away with abusing women for years.

And host Adam Ragusea contemplates why local public radio voices tend to sound more bassy and boomy than national voices.

Apr 16, 2015

How do you figure out how to pronounce an unfamiliar name or word, and how do you let other hosts and reporters know so they don't screw it up live on air? Celeste Headlee drops by The Pub with some tips.

Also, Vera Ranieri of the Electronic Frontier Foundation discusses the major victory she helped win last week against Personal Audio, a infamous patent-troll company that has been claiming it owns the technology behind podcasting

Host Adam Ragusea's take on a controversial "Latino USA" episode about Chicago mayor candidate Jesús "Chuy" García, and his (limited) defense of one-sided reporting.

And we learn the hard way that the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law doesn’t count on SoundCloud.

« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next »