Tuesday, February 20, 2018


American Public Media (APM) and the New York Times announced last week [link] that the Times popular podcast The Daily will be coming to public radio in April.  

The Daily [link] is typically around 20-minutes in length. The show will be edited into a half-hour program and distributed each weekday by APM to stations.

According to media reports, public radio stations will pay a yet-to-be-announced carriage fee for the program.  

The Daily is available to podcast listeners in the morning but the radio version will not be distributed until later in the day. 

The Daily, which launched in February 2017, is hosted by Times journalist Michael Barbaro. The podcast has become an unprecedented hit with 4.5 million unique monthly listeners and downloaded more than 200 million times in the first ten months. The Daily is a fee-based podcast, but there are no published reports about the revenue it generates for the Times.


Reportedly, APM and the Times will split the carriage fee revenue and new revenue generated by underwriters. Also, The Times will be running announcements during The Daily.

The Daily will provide APM a bankable show that will increase the perceived value of affiliation to the network.  Stations must pay APM affiliation fees before they can access the network’s programming portfolio. Affiliation fees are a major source of revenue for APM.

APM plans to market The Daily as companion to Marketplace, also a 30-minute program. For example, APM’s Minnesota News stations will be airing Marketplace at 6:00pm CT and The Daily at 6:30pm. In other words, the two half-hour programs will fill one broadcast hour, something stations have needed.

APM hopes this will cure an anomaly from the late 1980’s when Marketplace began as a half-hour program to be the “last half hour of All Things Considered.” ATC at the time was a 90-minute program.


The Times will be running announcements during the radio version of The Daily to promote digital subscriptions. According to Publisher’s Weekly [link], the Times is pivoting to digital to ensure the future of the company as print subscribers decline. The Times added more than 150,000 digital-only subscriptions in the last quarter of 2017.

The Times knows of the high affinity between their publication’s subscribers and NPR news listeners. The free announcements within APM’s version of The Daily is a great way to reach these folks.

The collaboration with APM shows the Times is expanding into audio reporting, which is important to both radio and podcasting.


Dave Kansas
Dave Kansas, APM’s COO, said it best:

"We know that our curious listeners want to better understand the complex issues of the world we live in, and the addition of this trusted name to our already strong portfolio helps us bring more in-depth, robust journalism to our audiences.”

KEN SAYS: This collaboration makes a lot of sense for everyone. Look for it to succeed.


AXS TV [link] has announced that The Big Interview With Dan Rather is scheduled to debut in March on radio stations nationwide. The series will feature the legendary former CBS News anchor interviewing such stars as Eddie Money, Billy Ray Cyrus and the Oak Ridge Boys.

The reason this is happening? AXS TV needs new subscribers. Though the company is backed by billionaire Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest and the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), AXS is far behind competitors such as Netflix and Hulu.

This idea must have made sense in the AXS boardroom to publicize the Rather interviews by simulcasting them on radio.

I have always respected Dan Rather, but this move perplexes me. To me, Rather is terrific doing reporting and analysis of news and current affairs, but I can’t imagine listening to him ask the Oak Ridge Boys about writing the song Elvira.

I listened to samples on the AXS website and Rather sounds like he is “phoning it in.” 

Plus,TV audio on radio is almost always problematic because of room ambience and other factors.

The press release from AXS trumpets radio stations that have already agreed to air the series. One station on the list I know very, very well: KQRS, the Classic Rock leader in the Twin Cities for over three decades. “KQ” is a music-intensive station that never breaks the flow except for morning ratings king Tom Bernard.

So, I called a friend who works at KQ and asked him when the The Big Interview With Dan Rather will air on the station.

My friend chuckled and said: “You won’t hear it on KQ. We are running the spots, not the show.”

This is an old trick used by commercial radio syndicators to pad program carriage lists. In this case AXS TV is paying KQRS to run the commercials with no requirement to run the show. Then AXS gets to use the station on its promo material to show success. Consider transactions like this as the
value of programming in commercial radio.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to ask "What's in it for Public Radio Stations?"

    The answer: nothing. This is giving airtime (and indirectly, revenue) to a direct competitor. It's a terrible idea. And it's being pushed by Kinsey Wilson which tells you all you need to know.