Perhaps it was coincidence but you have to wonder if iHeartRadio’s upcoming Podcast Awards [link] inspired the writers of Saturday Night Live to do a parody of a podcast awards ceremony called The Poddy's.
The SNL segment (link on yesterday's post) was eerily true to reality, or stereotypes of reality, of the actual podcasting world. The hosts for The Poddy’s were imitations of A-list podcast heroes: Michael Barbaro (played by Liev Schreiber) and Sarah Koenig (played by Cecily Strong). The award categories on SNL -- Most Unnecessary Podcast and Best Nervous White Girl In A Place She Doesn’t Belong – skewered the “too hip” vibe of actual podcasters
While virtually everyone found humor in The Poddy's, some industry observers felt the SNL sketch brought attention to aspects of podcasting that may need improving.
Steve Goldstein, a consultant an blogger who has written extensively about the podcast industry, wrote on his AmplifiMedia blog [link]:
Did SNL just set podcasting back? This past weekend Saturday Night Live parodied the podcast business in a clever send up of a podcast awards show, The Poddy’s, live from the “Me Undies Theater.”
And while it was fun to watch, it was also disconcerting and may help explain the slow growth of podcasting. In many ways, the SNL bit reinforces what lots of people already think about podcasts.
In many ways, the SNL bit reinforces what lots of people already think about podcasts — an elite niche with self-important story tellers telling oddly obscure stories.
Edison Research’s Tom Webster pointed out this past summer at Podcast Movement, 83% of Americans are not yet listening to podcasts. 64% know about them, and yet only 17% are listening.
That means three quarters of the people who know about podcasts are not listening. Not impressive. Not a good conversion.
Blogger and media consultant Fred Jacobs wrote on the Jacobs Media Strategy blog [link]:
Podcasters have been fighting for their share of respectability in the audio marketplace for more than a decade – with mixed results. While many media pundits (myself included) believe audio on-demand programming could be “the next big thing,” growth has been slow.
We discussed the large share of “podcast nevers” – those who never listen to podcasts – earlier this month in a blog post. Many people simply have not connected with podcasts for myriad reasons.
[The SNL skit] depicted a podcasting system that is self-indulgent, tedious, cliché, and unprofessional in a skit that was reminiscent of the “Schweddy Balls” send-up of public radio/NPR way back in 1998.
[The SNL skit is] a spot-on parody of many in the podcasting community that might serve as an early warning to iHeartRadio's first annual live “Podcast Award Show” in L.A. this January about what not to do.
MEANWHILE IN LOS ANGELES, THE SHOW WILL GO ON
In an ironic twist, iHeartRadio chose NPR to receive the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award.
It will be presented at the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards, Jan. 18, 2019, at the iHeartTheater in Los Angeles.
According to a press release from iHeart, NPR is being recognized for being a “driving, innovative force in the creation of the podcasting industry.” iHeart cited NPR’s unparalleled impact on how millions of listeners consume audio content.
Nominees for iHeartRadio Podcast Awards span 22 categories, including 17 where listeners are deciding the winners by voting online and on Twitter and Instagram, through Jan. 6, 2019. You can see more here.
GREAT REPORTING: CLOSED-DOOR MEETING AT WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY VIOLATES OPEN MEETING RULES
|Tri States Public Radio coverage area|
Over the past few months we haves written extensively about Western Illinois University’s (WIU) decision to cut almost all university funding for Tri States Public Radio (TSPR) as of March 1, 2019.
As we reported on August 21st [link], WIU’s action created a nightmare situation by blindsiding listeners and staff of the three-station network covering parts of Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.
The defunding will cost TSPR around $600,000 from their $1 million budget because there is no way to replace the money. The cut will come in the middle of the current fiscal year and may cause the station to lose its funding from CPB. Worse yet, WIU has never said who made the decision or the basis on which it was made.
Since the surprise cut was announced, folks at TSPR have been doing the best they can to continue operations of TSPR. But several staff members have left for other employment and there still are no answers about who will be working at TSPR after February 2019.
|Rich Eggers, Public Media Hero|
TSPR’s News Department has done amazing reporting about the situation in the midst of the uncertainty. News Director Rich Eggers filed a Freedom of Information request to try to learn more about WIU’s decision. WIU responded with some, but not all, of the information.
Now an audio recording has been obtained of a closed-door meeting of WIU officials on June 28, 2018. This was the meeting when the defunding of TSPR was finalized. It turns out that the “secret” meeting violates Illinois’ Illinois Open Meetings Act. Not only should the meeting have been public, during the meeting WIU bigwigs “practice” an announcement of the cuts.
The recording is part of a news story titled Dark Days for Transparency & Shared Governance at WIU [link] includes portions of the meeting. Scroll down to the mid-point of the story to hear the audio of WIU officially and knowingly defying the law.