Tuesday, July 31, 2018


In about three weeks public media folks will gather at the PRPD Content Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Austin, Texas. Conference activities begin on Monday (8/20) and end on Thursday (8/23).  It is not too late to register for the conference.  More information is available at [link].

Unfortunately we won’t be able to attend this year.  But, as we have done in past years, we are providing recommendations for sessions we would probably attend.  A few of these are “must attend” events.

When attending conferences one of the first things we do is go over the agenda item-by-item and highlight or top priorities. This helps because once a conference begins, it is easy get caught up in the moment forget about something we don’t want to miss.

On Monday (8/20), after we register and get our swag bag. If time permits we walk around the hotel and find the location of various activities, plus the coffee shop and bar – two places we will likely visit sooner or later.

We recommend jumping into conference by attending the Opening Night Reception.  This year, the local hosts KUT and KUTX, have chosen a terrific site: The historic studio from which Austin City Limits tapes their program.

Tuesday (8/21) is the first full day of the conference. 

Things start with the keynote address featuring Kate O’Neill, a tech humanist who gets excellent reviews. You might not have heard of her – we hadn’t before now – but if you are curious, don’t miss it.

Later Tuesday morning we have to make a choice because there are two breakout sessions and we’d like to attend both. We recommend both sessions. 

Mike Reszler
But, when it comes down to the one to attend we’d chose How to Stand Out in Today’s Competitive Landscape because moderator is Mike Reszler, the head digital person at APM.

We’ve seen Reszler’s presentation at other conferences and he is a gifted analyst and researcher. Reszler gets it that most of the Content Conference attendees are native to broadcasting and learning about digital platforms. Reszler talks in a clear manner that includes few insider terms.  Plus, he is focused on providing takeaways.

We usually want a free lunch. Folks who have attend PRPD conferences in the past will probably notice that there are fewer meals provided to conference attendees this year. 

Conference meals are expensive to sponsor and some organizations have cut back on expenses.

We absolutely recommend attending the presentation by The Daily. First, it is one of our favorite programs and it is always interesting to hear the worldview of people who are doing new things.

We also recommend PRI’s Showcase because they have assembled a remarkable panel.  Moderator Luke Burbank is always entertaining. Kurt Anderson, the host of Studio 360, is a compelling thinker with a perspective we value. Plus, Amy Walter from The Takeaway is an exciting new voice in our biz.

We know less about others on the panel but they are certainly worthy of your time and attention as you sip a free beverage. Kudos to PRI for presenting this newsy panel discussion.

Wednesday (8/22) is perhaps the busiest day at the Content Conference. 

If we were attending this year, our first stop would probably be the noncomMusic Alliance session. 

We are Triple A fans and want to learn more about this important project.

The WFMT/KMFA coffee break is one of the very few live music sessions on this year’s conference agenda. 

“Early music” takes our mind off business and transports us into the ethereal.   

We’d get stoned for this gathering if we were in Colorado…or California.  Hint, hint.

Don’t miss the APM free lunch – they typically have to best food. If the program is boring you can always duck-out to check your messages.

All three of the Breakout Sessions look interesting, but the “KPIs” look like a much-needed new metric.

Absolutely attend a format meeting.  News/Talk typically has the largest crowd but each is very valuable.

Don’t miss the Snap Judgment party on Wednesday evening. Glynn Washington is a fascinating host and sometimes there are unexpected surprises.

On Thursday (8/23) we recommend starting the conference day with Julie Amacher’s strategy session. 

At the mid-point we might check out the Immigration Coverage session.

A must-attend session is being held from 11am to Noon. 

The legendary NPR founder Bill Siemering will be joined by independent journalist Ernesto Agular to discuss the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.   
Do not miss the chance to see and hear Siemering.  

 Just being in his presence makes us glad we work in public media.

You will always remember this session.

Also Note: Jacob’s Media will present Public Radio Tech Survey 2018 (PRTS 2018). According to a note from PRPD CEO Jody Evans: PRTS will be included in the general session “What is Public Radio's Big Tent Audience Strategy?” as well as its own individual breakout session for a deep dive into the findings.

We recommend checking the Content Conference schedule for more information when you arrive in Austin.


In the Nielsen Audio Spring 2018 ratings for New Orleans we see another situation where weekly listeners are down a bit but the AQH listeners are growing compared to Spring 2017. 

This generally means that the number of listeners is down by the people who are listening longer has increased.

Check out the growing number of listeners to Smooth Jazz music WNOZ-LP.  The gains in estimated weekly listeners and AQH listeners are indicative of a very appealing station sound.

The Spring 2018 Nielsen ratings for Oklahoma City are a mixed bag for both KGOU and KOSU.  Though KGOU still is market leader, KOSU has 17% more weekly listeners in Spring 2018 than they did in Spring 2017.

However, when AQH listeners were measured by Nielsen is appears that those people listening to KGOU are staying longer. KOSU is down in this metric which may mean the increase in weekly listeners is partly due to people sampling, and then exiting, KOSU.

In Louisville, WFPL remains strong but Triple A WFPK is down in both weekly listeners and AQH listeners. 

However, Classical WUOL is reaching more people and they are staying tuned a bit longer.

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