|Tracy K. Smith, host of The Slowdown|
American Public Media (APM) is known as one of the most creative shops in the audio/radio business. However, new show ideas can come from anywhere. That is why APM is launching an open call for podcast pitches.
In a press released distributed last Tuesday 1/15, APM said the network is looking for storytellers, producers and new talent from all backgrounds. APM’s goal is to find two or three new shows to be developed into pilots. If everything clicks, APM’s intention is to produce full seasons of at least six episodes.
The deadline for pitches is February 15th. More information is available here.
APM won accolades from around the globe for The Slowdown [link] conceived and performed by American Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith.
Each episode of The Slowdown features five minutes of poetry. While the target audience is people who love poetry, APM says The Slowdown is accessible for newcomers to the form
APM’s Podcast Division [link] currently lists 17 shows in its portfolio including In the Dark, a Peabody Award winner in 2016.
APM is often listed on Podtrac’s Top Ten podcast publishers.
the left is the most recent Podtrac publisher chart from December 2018.
We decided to compare the December chart with Podtrac’s January 2018 chart to give readers an overview of the past year. APM was listed in the January top ten, but is not listed in December.
NPR continues to be the leader in podcast publishing. iHeartRadio zoomed up 62% from January to December because of their acquisition of the How Stuff Works cluster of shows.
A trend we are watching is the growth in popularity of podcasts published by commercial entities such as iHeart, Wondery and Barstool Sports. In December, only four of the top ten publishers were connected to public media organizations.
The reach of all of the publishers grew between January and December except for WNYC Studios whose Unique Audience dropped 26% in 2018.
NIELSEN AUDIO RATINGS FOR RICHMOND, ROCHESTER & SYRACUSE
We did a double take when we saw the Fall 2018 AQH share and weekly listeners to WNRN in Richmond. AAA WNRN, a regional player based in Charlottesville, was up 69% in the number of estimated weekly listeners in Fall 2018 compared to Fall 2016.
WNRN’s AQH share in Richmond more than doubled.
We’ve been fans of WNRN for several years. Richmond in one of four Virginia markets where the station appears in the Nielsen ratings. WNRN has a fulltime repeater station in Richmond.
There have been a number of changes in the Richmond market in the past two years. In Fall 2016 both WCVE and WVRF, based in Roanoke, had dual formats of NPR News and Classical music. In 2017 both WCVE and WVTF switched the stations to 24/7 NPR News/Talk and added a second signal for 24/7 Classical.
This move has worked out well for WCVE. It’s news/talk station has added 10% more new weekly listeners. WBBT, known on the air as WCVE Music has established a strong presence in the market.
Because of the changes, we did not calculate weekly listener trends for Richmond stations.
Someone should put a 24/7 NPR News/Talk station in Rochester! We are joking because WXXI has it handled. However, NPR News in Rochester lags behind other markets of its size in audience size. We know the folks at WXXI are well aware of this fact, but for now they are stuck on AM. (Morning Edition and ATC are simulcast on WRUR daily.)
Consultants, who look at the situation from 30,000-feet say the answer is easy: Put new/talk on WXXI-FM. That is easier said than down. WXXI AM, FM and PBS TV have relationships in the Rochester arts world that management feels work best with a fulltime Classical format on WXXI-FM.
The estimated number of weekly listeners to the three stations dropped 3.9% between Fall 2016 and Fall 2018.
Estimated weekly listeners to the five rated noncommercial stations in the Syracuse market fell by 19% in Fall 2018 compared to Fall 2016.
NPR News/Talk WRVO had 26% fewer estimated weekly listeners in Fall 2018 than two years earlier.
WRVO’s AQH share also went down.
Syracuse University’s WAER may have picked up some of WRVO’s lost listeners, but without more detailed information it is difficult to be conclusive.
In some ways Syracuse is two markets: The core metro and the large Total Survey Area. Two stations, AAA WITH in Ithaca and NPR News/Talk WSKG based in Binghamton, are listed in the Syracuse market but don’t reach the core metro area.