Wednesday, December 20, 2017


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]. 


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 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.


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