Discussing the Future of Public Radio

I haven't written much about Public Radio lately, and I should.  Not only are Public Broadcasters among the most faithful and thoughtful readers of this blog, but they're also in many ways that segment of the industry best positioned for the cross-platform future.

Why has Public Radio so embraced the term "media," (as in "Public Media"), while commercial radio is only beginning to warm up to the notion that "radio" is now "media"?

Watch this video of my conversation with John Decker, the Program Director of San Diego's well-regarded KPBS radio and television.  We discuss that topic and more, including a new model for monetizing Public Radio content via digital distribution.

I'll write about this model more later, but it seems to me to be inevitable that in the long run paying station affiliates for programs when you are listening for the programs, not the affiliates, is an outmoded construct.

Station affiliates should be orbits of local cultural consequence, not simply distribution points for national content.  And national content elements should have their own universes, their own "tribes," which allow me to join and contribute directly.

In other words, I should be able to patronize both or either – for their own reasons.

Like I said, more on that later.

We also talk about the much ballyhooed NPR mobile app, which bugs me for a few reasons I'll share in the video.


This video is a brief edit of the complete conversation.  If you want to watch the full 27-minute conversation, go here.

Thanks to John Decker at KPBS for sharing his time and providing such thoughtful answers!

As usual, you can subscribe to all these videos on iTunes here.

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