Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I am listening to the debut edition of NEXT, the new weekly regional news magazine and podcast from the New England News Collaborative (NENC) [link].  It is splendid! You can listen to NEXT at [link].

NEXT is hosted by WNPR’s John Dankosky, perhaps the best talk and interview strategist, producer and personality in the NPR system.  Dankosky is a master at finding topics and guests that resonate with listeners. He uses a straight-ahead approach and a tightly woven narrative to keep folks listening.

The second segment of the first show – Questioning Yankeedom – provides a summary of the purpose of NEXT and NENC. Here is a portion of the segment description:

Imagine a map of the United States that’s not divided into 50 states — a map where eleven distinct “nations” sprawl for hundreds, maybe thousands of miles, connected not by our current governmental boundaries, but by a common culture. An America envisioned by historian Colin Woodard in his book, American Nations.

The map at right is from Woodward’s book. It shows the regional affinity of folks with common cultures, backgrounds, beliefs and behavior. One such place is Yankeedom, a swath of geography the stretches from Maine to Minnesota. One of the major parts of Yankeedom is New England, where the Yankees first settled and proliferated.

The common weave of New England is focus of NEXT.  Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine are among America's oldest places. All are now experiencing profound change. New England has old rules, customs, and well-worn pathways. NEXT asks and answers questions like In what ways does New England really function as one large state, instead of a collection of tiny colonial outposts?

John Dankosky
NEXT is a weekly one-hour show that originates at WNPR in Hartford. It airs on WNPR’s stations Thursdays at 2pm and Sundays at 6pm; on Vermont Public Radio on Sundays at Noon; and on New Hampshire Public Radio Saturdays at 10pm.

The NENC is one of one several regional collaborations around the country advanced by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in conjunction with PRX, NPR and BBC. The collaborations reflect the wise leadership of former CPB radio executive Bruce Theriault, a person who has served public media well for over three decades.

For more information about NENC and NEXT, contact Executive Editor John Dankosky at (860) 275-7301 or



AIR is encouraging newbies involved with radio and podcasting to apply for scholarships to attend the Third Coast Festival November 11th – 13th in Chicago.  The scholarships make available up to $1,500 per person.  Applicants are not required to be AIR members. The deadline is August 29. More information about the AIR Scholarships is at [link].

You can learn more about sessions and fun events planned for Third Coast at [link]. It has been several years since I attended Third Coast but I have enjoyed it in the past. Third Coast is a unique public media gathering.  It is more about the "art" of creating audio than the “commerce” of audio.

Meanwhile, there is still is no word about what is being planned for the Public Radio Programmers conference (“the PRPD”) September 19th – 22nd in Phoenix. The PRPD site [link] said the conference overview would be provided by August 1st, then August 8th. PRPD is now promising the conference overview by August 12th.



I recommend two commentaries about Nielsen Audio’s PPM methodology by blogger/consultant Mark Ramsey [link] and journalist/historian Tom Taylor [link].
When Ramsey and Taylor talk I listen. They both are both asking: How many PPMs does Nielsen allow in one household? Answer – up to 16. 

Nielsen currently allows an in-tab household to have 13 Portable People Meters (PPM) including nine for people under the age of 17. Ramsey and Taylor say that such a high concentration of meters in one household may skew the results over several “books.” Ramsey comments:

This is one of those shockingly unfair and non-representative elements of PPM that broadcasters overlook far too easily.

Ramsey and Taylor say Nielsen is doing this to cut costs because it is cheaper to install and maintain multiple meters in one location.

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