Thursday, December 21, 2017

WHEN A PUBLIC SERVICE EVENT GOES WRONG: KEN MILLS IS DRUNK ON THE AIR


Attention Spark News Readers:

Our blog is going on a holiday break.
This is our last post of 2017. New posts will 
return on Wednesday, January 3, 2018.
Thank you for reading my blog.
I do it for you. Ken.

Back in 1985 I had just married my wife, the lovely Linda Carter. We were living in Rapid City in Black Hills of South Dakota. She was a news reporter at the local NBC affiliate and I was working on the air at KTOQ-AM, a commercial Country music station owned by Tom Brokaw and his high school buddy Tom Kearns. The company was called Tom-Tom Communications.

2:00pm Drunk on the Air begins
KTOQ decided to do a Drunk on the Air promotion on New Years Eve to persuade people not drink and drive. 

The sponsor was a local liquor distributor. I was chosen to be the drunken host for the live radio broadcast.

On my insistence, the liquor distributor provided me with a large bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label whiskey. 

The event was supervised by a South Dakota State Trooper.

The Trooper has me walk the line
I began drinking “heavy” Scotch and Water cocktails around 2:00pm. At first I had no problem correctly saying tongue-twisting phrases. 

After a couple of hours I began to slur my words. 

By the time the event was nearing it’s end I had consumed eight and half mixed drinks from my jumbo-size ASU party cup. I was wobbly – a good example of a person who should NOT be driving.

Just before 6:00pm a reporter and video crew arrived from the local TV station where my wife worked. They were there to do a live shot for the local news. The station had taped me earlier in the day, so the premise of the news story was “before and after.” Everyone assumed that I would be proof that drinking and driving don't mix.

I give a speech on live TV, the Trooper isn't smiling
But, it didn’t quite turn out that way. Just prior to the live shot, when the TV crew turned on the bright lights, I suddenly became as sober as a judge. The Trooper put me through standard sobriety tests on live TV. I walked the line almost perfectly and I appeared to be in complete control.

This wasn’t the message we were supposed to be sending. When you watch the video note the disapproving look on the Trooper’s face. The reporter chuckled about my amazing “you don't look drunk” moment. The reporter asked me on live TV what I had learned from the experience. I said:

I learned that when I feel I am okay to drive, my blood-alcohol level may actually indicate I am intoxicated past the legal limit.

That is also my holiday message to you today.  When you are drinking at a holiday party keep in mind that when you feel okay to drive you may actually be intoxicated. Play it safe during the holidays and we’ll meet each other again in 2018.  Ken.

Here is the event as seen on KEVN-TV December 31, 1985:




Wednesday, December 20, 2017

RAY BRADBURY BEAMS DOWN TO MILWAUKEE • START FRESH IN 2018 WITH A NEW JOB


Author Ray Bradbury back in the day

Sci-fi fans in the Milwaukee area will get a blast from the past when student station WMSE [link] begins airing the radio drama series Mindwebs beginning Saturday 12/31/17 at Midnight.

Mindwebs is a series of radio short stories from authors such as the late Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke and other science fiction authors. 

Think of it as radio version of The Twilight Zone.


The series ran on public radio stations nationwide back in the 1970s. Michael Hanson produced Mindwebs at Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR). He is also a featured voice in the episodes. The programs are 30-minutes in length.

Radio Drama? I can hear programmers saying: You can’t be serious no way. I am reminded by a question that legendary public radio researcher David Giovannoni was asked at an early PRPD conference:

Question: What is the best time to air radio drama?

Giovannoni: Probably 1937.

But now in the podcast-driven audio world some things that are old are new again. Serialized programs such as Serial rely heavily on storytelling techniques such as pacing, word plays and voices with distinct personalities.

Current production techniques make audio drama sound less stilted. Given the right people and circumstances, there is no reason why fiction-based audio stories can’t work as podcasts and radio programs. As with all media, the key is getting people to come back for more of the story.

Mindwebs is a public domain freebie so it is perfect for college stations like WMSE. The series is also available on YouTube and the Internet Archive [link]. 

TURN THE CLOCK TO 2018

I’m sure I am not the only person who will be glad when 2017 is in our collective past. 2018 has got to be better. In that spirit, here are a couple of excellent open jobs at shops known as fine places to work.

Job #1: Chief Development Officer, Wisconsin Public Radio, Madison

WPR CEO Mike Crane posted this opening on PubRadio. WPR is looking for a Chief Development Officer (“CDO”) to design and execute fundraising, including membership, planned giving, major gifts, pledge drives, underwriting, grant proposals, and fundraising events.  

The CDO is an important part of WPR’s management team. WPR typically raises over $12 million in listener related funds. Complete information is available here [link]. 

KEN SAYS: I recommend this gig because this is a place where you can grow and make a difference. People in Wisconsin know and trust WPR. They’ve been at it now for over 100 years. The management team is top-notch and they are open to new ideas.

Job #2: News Director, Vermont Public Radio, Burlington

John Van Hoesen, Senior VP and Chief Content Officer at 
Vermont Public Radio (VPR)
 also posted this opening on PubRadio. VPR is looking for a person with passion and vision to help tell the Vermont Story.

VPR’s News Director is responsible for leading a staff of 15 reporters, producers and hosts. The person who is chosen will be in charge of VPR’s broadcast and digital news platforms. VPR wants someone with hands-on experience with enterprise and investigative reporting. VPR’s News Director is responsible for managing the news department budget and is part of the senior management team.

To receive a complete job description, request it by email at careers@vpr.net. Applications, including cover letter and resume, must be sent to the same email address. VPR requests no phone calls about the job.

KEN SAYS: Some people may have the mistaken impression that Vermont Public Radio is in the “slow lane.” While the surroundings are bucolic, VPR is in the public media “fast lane” with work on par with WBUR, WNYC and WHYY. This is great gig for a person on their way up in the biz.













Description: https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/wisconsingazette.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/bannerad/3/b3/3b30f18a-b27c-11e7-b8e9-a35ff5a8cd74/59e4be9da8352.image.png


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

CREDITORS CLOSE IN ON PACIFICA • NPR IS STILL #1 IN PODCASTS


The Pacifica Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns five FM stations in the nation’s biggest markets, is on the verge of financial collapse. The irony of the situation is that they did it to themselves – sort of “suicide by stupidity.”

Bill Closier
According to an internal memo from Pacifica’s interim Executive Director, Bill Closier, Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) has begun the process of seizing Pacifica’s assets. Last fall ESRT won a court judgment against Pacifica for an estimated $2.4 million. WBAI hasn't paid the rent for its transmitter atop the Empire State Building for several years. Pacifica's totally debt, including ESRT, is reportedly over $9 million.

ESRT has filed the paperwork in California to collect the money ESRT is owed. The Pacifica Foundation is chartered in the state of California. ESRT can start seizing Pacifica’s assets such as bank accountants, real estate, equipment and even office equipment beginning January 12, 2018.

ESRT has also filed to seize Pacifica’s assets in Texas. Similar actions are also expected in New York and the District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, according to Crosier, Pacifica’s National Board of Directors continues to dither and Board members are fighting among themselves.


WBAI’s transmissions atop the Empire State
Building reaches a potential audience of
18.2 million. But WBAI draws too few listeners
to be sustainable.
In his memo, Crosier said he asked Julianne Mossler, Deputy Attorney General for California’s Office of Charitable Trusts to speak via telephone to the Board about their fiduciary duties. 

Several Board members reportedly didn’t know what the term “fiduciary” means.

To make matters even worse, WBAI was off the air for over a day this past weekend. 

I predict a year from now WBAI, 99.5 FM with maximum power from the Empire State Building will be airing EMF’s K-Love.




NPR CONTINUES TO BE THE TOP PODCAST PUBLISHER




NPR’s estimated US Monthly Podcast Audience (think of it as “monthly cume”) was up 5% in November, compared to October. Podtrac makes available two monthly charts: Podcast publishers and rankings of individual podcasts. The publisher’s estimates come with stats.

iHeartMedia was a new entry on Podtrac’s publishers chart in October. It looks like iHeart added a lot of US Monthly Audience in November but this is likely an illusion. 

In October iHeart said they had 525 active podcasts in circulation. In November iHeart claimed they had 603 active podcasts. The increase in US Monthly Audience may be due to the bigger number of podcasts in distribution.

This anomaly also points out a weakness in Podtrac’s publisher’s chart. Using Podtrac’s numbers, iHearts’ average amount of US Monthly Audience per podcast is around 26,000. 

NPR’s average per podcast is around 415,000. And, This American Life’s (TAL) cluster of three podcasts deliver an average of almost 1.8 million per podcast.

Podtrac’s charts are often used by ad agencies to determine where to spend ad dollars to reach the largest number of listeners at the best price. It is no wonder why public media’s TAL and NPR are the leading choices for podcast ads.




Monday, December 18, 2017

NPR’S MVP – JARL MOHN – RETURNS IN MID-JANUARY


Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Times
Like many folks in the biz, I am pleased to hear that NPR president and CEO Jarl Mohn plans to return to the organization in mid-January. Mohn has been on a medical leave of absence for the past couple of months.

Mohn’s return is good news because his work on behalf of NPR has been inspiring. 


Under his leadership NPR stations have seen spectacular ratings, record fundraising and has become an increasingly valuable presence in our  democracy. NPR is also the nation’s leading publisher of podcasts. Plus use of the mobile app NPR One continues to rise.

A big reason for the recent success of NPR is Mohn’s intuitive feel for the fundamentals of radio. You could say that Jarl Mohn is “native to the platform.”

This is important because stations are still the bedrock of public radio. CPB funding is channeled to the stations. Most people encounter NPR and station programming via on-air signals or streaming audio. Stations are “idea factories” that convey NPR’s good work.


Mohn knows the media business better than anyone else that ever led NPR since the early 1980s. On the right is a list of the CEOs/ Presidents of National Public Radio since Frank Mankiewicz.

Mohn brings something to NPR that none of the past leaders had: A true passion for the art, science and business of radio.

Each of the previous leaders of NPR brought unique perspectives to the job. Some were more successful than others. However, Jarl Mohn’s talents are unique.

His passion comes from public radio’s mission and it's role in our country today. 

Mohn is energized by the challenges. 

At his heart, Mohn is a great broadcaster, entertainer and communicator. Doing something well makes him proud and happy.

Mohn, now 65, can retire any time he wants to. But he’d rather be in the game. He still has the enthusiasm he talked about when he first got the gig in 2014. Here is how he described it then when interviewed on KPCC, Pasadena in [link]: 

I began my career as a disc jockey. I was in radio for years. I became a program director and general manager. I ended up buying some stations in El Paso and Louisville.

Mohn and KPCC-ers in 2014
After selling my stations, I got into the cable television business. I ran MTV and VH1 in the '80s. I created E! (Entertainment Television) in the 1990s. Then I did venture investing in early-stage digital media. Then I got to know about public radio when I went of the Board of Southern California Public Radio.

When [the NPR CEO job] came up, there had been a fair amount of turnover at NPR. I was asked if I was interested. I said, this is the one job in America that I think I'd love doing.  I made a commitment to spend at least five years leading the organization. 

Let’s hope and pray that Mohn will be leading NPR until 2019 or perhaps longer because he has much more to contribute to our collective, public service enterprise.


Friday, December 15, 2017

READER COMMENTS


COMMENT #1


Marlin Taylor at the 2015
Broadcast Pioneers of
Philadelphia Hall of Fame dinner

One of the things I enjoy about writing this blog is the people I meet. Today I’d like to introduce you to Marlin Taylor, one of the giants of our business. You might say that Taylor is the Father of the Beautiful Music format but his legacy is so much more.

In 1961 Taylor was programming WHFS, the first FM Stereo station in Washington, DC and was preparing to start a new, similar station in Philadelphia, WDVR. During that time Taylor met Jerry Lee and recommended him to David Kurtz, the owner of WDRV. Lee was named WDRV's Sales Manager.

Taylor and Lee built WDVR, now WBEB, into one of the most influential and profitable stations in the nation. Together they popularized Easy Listening formats and helped established FM stations as a major factor in the radio business. 

Some observers say Taylor and Lee “saved the FM band” and set the stage for FM’s rise in the 1970s with album rock music.

Taylor was also one the first satellite radio format programmers. He created three channels for XM between 2001 and 2004. Those channels –  1940's/Big Band, Easy Listening and Southern Gospel – are still among the most popular channels today on SiriusXM.


After more than a half century in radio programming, management and consulting, Marlin Taylor is still a keen observer of the business. He gives advice to his many friends in the biz, publishes a blog [link] and will release his memoir – Radio...My Love, My Passion – in early 2017.

Taylor wrote Spark News with this comment:

COMMENT:  I can attribute much of my success in life and radio broadcasting to having a fairly logical mind and an intuitive sense about audience tastes and desires.

In all my years of programming Easy Listening/Beautiful Music, both on FM stations coast to coast and then satellite radio ... we were the go-to option for escaping not only unwanted talk but even music stations under certain circumstances, such as commuters turning to us to calm their nerves in stressful traffic situations.

To me, in 2016 classical benefited from many people being tired of the news being dominated by politics and the election, so chose to "escape" by turning to the best alternative, music - classical if you will, for those who don't care for contemporary. That's the primary reason classical would see a decrease in listenership in 2017.

KEN SAYS:  I decided to investigate Taylor’s theory that listeners do seek “shelter from the storm,” that they actually do listen more to stations airing calmer music when the news turns ugly.


I chose ten typical Classical music stations and found Nielsen Audio PPM data for each station from November of 2015, 2016 and 2017. Then I did the math. As you can see on the chart on the left, four stations (marked “Yes”) had more estimated weekly listeners in November 2016 than they did in 2015 and 2017.

Another four stations (marked “No”) did not have more listeners in 2016.  Two other stations (marked “Maybe”) had more weekly listeners to 2016 than one of the other years.

My analysis shows that there is not enough information and there are too many other factors to say conclusively either way.



COMMENT #2

We received two anonymous comments regarding two items in our post of 12/5/17 [link].

One commentor wrote regarding our coverage of WBEZ having more weekly listeners in November 2017 than they did in 2016:

COMMENT: WBEZ’s boost is probably due to the success of the Cubs. In 2016, they won the World Series and in 2017 and they didn’t in 2017. That meant that in Fall 2016 there was less time listening to WBEZ because lots of people listened to Cubs games.

KEN SAYS: You have a good point.  With PPM technology, I believe this could traced.  Perhaps someone with access to the full Nielsen Audio data can check this out for us.

COMMENT #3

The other comment concerned the cost of leasing the 105.5 FM translator serving Washington, DC. Radio Sputnik is paying $30,000 per month and the former client, WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, paid the translator’s owner much less:

COMMENT: I was under the impression that when a translator is operating in the commercial part of the FM band (which 105.5 FM is), if they are repeating a noncommercial station the translator owner can only charge enough rent to recoup operating costs. If the translator is rebroadcasting a commercial station (such as Radio Sputnik) they can charge whatever they want to.

KEN SAYS: Yes, you are correct. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

COMMENT #4

Our 11/21/17 coverage [link] of research about why people don’t like radio  commercials included respondents listenimg to simulated stop-sets of typical radio commercials:

COMMENT: Did the simulated broadcast stop-set include one of those unholy 1-1-887-Kars4Kids spots?

KEN SAYS: Good point! I once told someone that 1-887-Kars4Kids was one of the reasons I like working in noncommercial radio.

I decided to do some quick research to find out where the 1-887-Kars4Kids commercials come from. Here is a portion of the information on Wikipedia [link]:

Kars4Kids is a non-profit national car donation organization based in Lakewood, New Jersey and Toronto, Ontario.  It donates most of its proceeds to Oorah, an organization whose mission is to give children and families opportunities to connect with their Jewish heritage and traditions.

Kars4Kids is well known for its jingle 1-877- Kars4Kids. The organization says the jingle was written by a volunteer in the late-1990s. The tune is adapted from a Country music song.

The jingle has become the subject of jokes and ridicule. Critics have called it “an assault on the senses.” In 2014 Saturday Night Live used 1-877- Kars4Kids as the basis of a comedy sketch wherein the song was used by the CIA as an enhanced interrogation techniques. The jingle is also know as a very successful fundraising tool.

The internet has many parodies of the jingle.  For your Friday laughs, here is one of the best ones:




Thursday, December 14, 2017

BEWARE: LORENZO MILAN’S GHOST STILL LIVES AT PACIFICA




Long time readers of this blog might recall our reporting from 2015 and 2016 about the hapless community radio station KUSP in Santa Cruz. KUSP went out of business because, in part, they operated the station using the “Pacifica Model” – an arcane system of governance that masquerades as democracy.

At KUSP there was a committee for everything and every person had a say in decisions big and small. This led to paralysis, endless internal turf battles and eventually bankruptcy. This is where Pacifica Radio is now.

I thought of KUSP when I saw an internal memo from Bill Crosier, Pacifica’s Interim Executive Director dated December 11, 2017. Below are portions of Crosier’s memo.  Image trying to operate a failing business with these obstacles:

Pacifica is facing its biggest crisis ever, caused by years of financial neglect and the failure to get our deficits under control… Our mission is seriously threatened by our financial problems and our failure to get [our Boards of Directors] to do what's needed to correct the problems.

In almost every [governing committee] meeting this year, it's taken an hour or more just to get through approval of the agenda and minutes from the last meeting. Some times we can't even do that in an hour and a half. In last week's meeting, as in the one before, the [committee] never even got to discuss nor vote on any of the proposed Bylaws amendments… that would have helped make [Pacifica] less dysfunctional.

This is no way to run a so-called democratic governance, and is a great disservice to our members and to the Pacifica mission. Remember, we're supposed to be for peace, right?

Lorenzo Milan in 1972

Where did this wacky system of governance come from? Blame Lorenzo Milan. Check out our profile of Milan from 2015 [link].

Milan has been called The Johnny Appleseed of Community Radio. To his credit, he did inspire quite a few people to establish independent community radio stations in the 1970s. 

Though Milan was sort of a visionary he couldn’t organize a trip to the bathroom.

He advocated a station governance system based on the theories of Leon Trotsky from the early days of the Soviet Union. (I am serious.) 


Milan’s 1972 booklet Sex & Broadcasting sold thousands of copies.  I bought my copy at a “head shop” – It was right next to the latest issue of High Times.

Pacifica, KUSP and other community stations followed his advice and designed intricate operating schemes where every dog had his day and any naysayer could scuttle any useful idea.

Milan was obsessed with ruling by committee. Many of the stations he inspired are still bearing the burden, if they are still in business.

Community radio and LPFM stations please note: If you follow the “Pacifica model” of governance you will likely end up like Pacifica: The worst noncommercial media organization ever.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

JACOBS MEDIA TECH SURVEY WEBINAR TRACES CHANGES IN MEDIA CONSUMPTION OVER THE PAST 13 YEARS


The Amazing Fred Jacobs


Monday’s Jacobs Media webinar – Thirteen Years of Tech Survey: How Radio Listening Has Changed with New Technologies – was an extremely valuable experience for lots of reasons. 

Fred Jacobs presented knowledge from 13 years of research about media usage by commercial radio listeners - Tech Survey's Greatest Hits.

As Bob Dylan once said Things Have Changed.



The webinar was essentially a sales presentation (and a damn good one!) to recruit more commercial radio broadcasters to participate in the upcoming Tech Survey 2018. From a scholar’s point-of-view, the webinar was also an important Sociological study that traced major changes in media and society since 2005.

[Please note: Tech Survey participants are recruited from station databases. These are “opt in” online responses that may, or may not reflect the entire population.]

A TIME CAPSULE FROM 2005      

Jacobs’ webinar presentation started with the first Tech Survey in 2005. At that time Jacobs Media was working primarily with commercial rock stations so the results reflected the listeners of these stations.

Jacobs’ 2005 Media Pyramid (on the right) depicts a world where people generally listened to radio on “radios,” watched a lot of cable TV and kept their desktop or laptop computers in the bedroom or the office close to a box of Kleenex.

Though 2005 isn’t that long ago, the media landscape was much different then: The iPhone had not yet been introduced, Facebook had just been launched, Netflix mailed movies to customers, and Broadband internet access was available to only a few customers.

Many of the leading media companies had not yet realized that big shifts in phone usage by their customers was already happening (chart on the left)

For example, Jacobs talked about how Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio) in 2005 only used landline telephone numbers to recruit participants for its surveys. This was despite the fact that over a third of listeners ages 18-34 were only available via cell phones.

At that time Jacobs Media was primarily working with rock stations as clients, Arbitron’s lack of including cell phone users in the sample was obviously skewing the results.  Jacobs showed this slide to Arbitron who finally started including cell phone users a couple of years later.

Another slide from the Jacobs webinar (on the right) says a lot about how much things have changed since 2005. At that time even the concept of social media wasn’t widely discussed. In 2005, MySpace led the category at the time and then faded to near oblivion.

Jacobs’ went through the subsequent years showing how digital gained share each year. As new devices and platforms were launched more choices were available to the respondents. The Tech Surveys themselves also evolved. Tech Surveys now include listeners to stations airing 14 different formats. There are now separate surveys for public radio and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) music.

[Please note: We will feature the latest public radio survey results – Public Radio Tech Survey 9 – tomorrow/Thursday on Spark News.]

On the left is the 2017 commercial station usage pyramid for devices and platforms. Several years ago, Jacobs created a separate chart showing brand preferences. 

The devices and platforms gaining the most usage in 2017 were Smartphones, Streaming Video, Smart TVs, Smart Speakers and Smart Watches. Radio usage has declined only 2% since 2005, largely because of usage in vehicles.


KEN'S TAKEAWAYS FROM 13 YEARS OF TECH SURVEYS

I highly recommend listening to this webinar – you can download it here [link]. These are a some of the factoids I consider to be the most important takeaways from the 13 years of Tech Surveys:

(1.) The introduction of the iPhone has permanently changed the way people consume audio and video. Though the use of cellphones was significant in 2005, the advent of the iPhone and its competitors beginning in 2008 has risen faster than any other media device I can recall.

In 2012, four years after they first hit the market, Smartphones were used by over fifty percent of Tech Survey respondents. In 2017 they were used by 87% of respondents.

(2.) Digital is continuing to gain ground on analog/traditional as the way to listen to radio stations. The chart of the left shows the trend lines from 2013 to 2017 and each year the listening to radio via old-school analog receivers, though still strong, continues to fall. If these trends continue (and there is no reason to think they won’t) there will be a shakeout of a number of commercial broadcasters because ad revenue will fall below profitable levels.




(3.) Podcasting has become a real factor in the battle for listeners attention (chart on the right). 

But keep in mind that in 2017 podcasts are used by 21% of respondents and radio (analog and digital) still is used by 91% of respondents. 

Podcasts and radio exist in two different economies.






(4.) One of the negative factors that has emerged from the digital revolution is addiction (chart on the left). Jacobs Media Tech Surveys findings mirror research from behavioral and mental health professionals. It is well-documented that there is worrisome addiction by people to their “virtual worlds in a box.” Addiction has consequences.

Overall, this professor gives Fred Jacobs an A+ for his notable contributions media literacy and cultural change.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

WHYY’S “THE PULSE” WHERE HEALTH SCIENCE GETS PERSONAL • WHY DOES WRTI KEEP LOSING WEEKLY LISTENERS?


Public radio listeners love science. Programs such as Invisibilia, Radiolab and even Science Friday draw large audiences on stations and have many subscribers for podcasts and other digital media.

Health Science programs typically haven’t done as well in the past because many were “doc talk” shows, preachy know-it-alls and subtle infomercials selling potions and herbs. 

Now there is a medical science show that gets it right: The Pulse [link] from WHYY, Philadelphia. 

The Pulse looks at medical science from the angle of personal experience. Stories emerge where we meet scientists, practitioners and patients. Topics vary from the ordinary (Facing Our Fears) to the extraordinary (Following a Stroke, Finding the Words Can Become a Lifelong Endeavor). The program describes its mission this way:

“The Pulse brings you stories at the heart of health, science and innovation. [We] energize and engage the health and science communities [and] individuals.”

Maiken Scott
At the heart of The Pulse is host and reporter Maiken Scott. Scott is a German transplant who has worked at WHYY since 2008. She has been host of The Pulse since it was launched in 2013.. Scott has a soothing audio presence, confident articulation, optimistic and (I know this kind of a stereotype) the aura of a scientist from Germany.

Maiken was interviewed earlier in 2017 by Philadelphia Magazine [link] who asked her what makes The Pulse different from other science shows:

Maiken: Radiolab is an art form. The way it’s put together is as important as the story. To me, the content comes first. I take the biggest pride in pulling off a really important policy story.

For instance, you can go to the hospital and if the guy who’s doing your anesthesiology isn’t covered by your insurance, you can end up with a $32,000 bill.

If we can make that as listenable as a really sexy story about whales crying 10,000 feet under the ocean, then I’m happy.

Philadelphia Magazine: What’s the most awe-inspiring scientific finding you’ve read about recently? And what’s the scariest?

Maiken: The thing that inspires me the most is the fact that people keep looking for answers. The real work of science is tedious as hell. Genetics are always a little scary.

Philadelphia Magazine: Before you hosted The Pulse, your news beat was behavioral health. How would you rate America’s mental health right now?

Maiken: Being online a lot is not good for most of us. After the election, I went off Facebook for quite some time. My husband and I host a political discussion group at our house. We had one after the election, and by the end, everyone was laughing hysterically. I think people felt like, “Okay, I’m better now.

The Pulse is involved in a partnership with two other organizations with similar missions: The Scientist [link] and Side Effects Public Media [link], a collaboration involving reporters from KBIA in Columbia,
Missouri; St. Louis Public Radio; Illinois Public Media; WNIN in Evansville, Indiana; and WOSU in Columbus, Ohio.
 
The Pulse is available to stations via PRX.

Listeners can hear The Pulse podcast on several platforms including iTunes [link] and Facebook [link]. 

MORE NIELSEN AUDIO NOVEMBER PPM TRENDS



WHYY and WXPN continue to do well in the November 2017 PPM ratings compared with November 2016. 

But what is going on at WRTI?  They lost almost 75,000 estimated weekly listeners in the past year. We’d all like to know.





In Boston there isn’t much change since November 2016 for WBUR and WGBH. It is nice to see WERS and WUMB bouncing up. Someone must have taken the air out the tires at WCRB.








The biggest story in the Twin Cities is the rise of Jazz music KBEM. 

KCMP The Current has 296,500 weekly listeners when the terrestrial audience and streaming audience are combined.