Chasing Hillary Rodham

I’m sort of a geek when it comes to archival audio. The kind of audio that has been locked away just like that scene in Indiana Jones—it’s there somewhere, just waiting to be set free! 

Hillary Rodham ClintonOne piece of audio that’s been on my wish list is from 1969, when a young Hillary Rodham (Clinton) became the first student to deliver a commencement speech at Wellesley College’s graduation ceremony. Like many college students, Hillary Rodham’s experience was transformative. As she wrote in her autobiography, “I arrived at Wellesley carrying my father’s political beliefs and my mother’s dreams, and left with the beginnings of my own.”

On top of that, this was during the tumultuous ’60s—her speech reflected her steps toward adulthood during that disruptive time.

I knew hearing her voice and such a piece of audio history would be amazing, so I kept my eyes open. A few weeks ago, on the eve of the California primary, Wellesley College released excerpts of the speech audio in a produced YouTube video. It only took a few phone calls and an engaging conversation for Wellesley to release the full Hillary audio to PRX, with its ’60s self-actualization language, hints at Earth-shattering change, and a touching poem at the end.

What strikes the listener most is how much Hillary Rodham’s voice has changed…reflecting her own coming-of-age journey. Listen here:

Here is the full transcript: Remarks of Hillary Rodham

I am very glad that Miss Adams made it clear that what I am speaking for today is all of us —the 400 of us—and I find myself in a familiar position, that of reacting, something that our generation has been doing for quite a while now. We’re not in the positions yet of leadership and power, but we do have that indispensable element of criticizing and constructive protest and I find myself reacting just briefly to some of the things that Senator Brooke said. This has to be quick because I do have a little speech to give.

Part of the problem with just empathy with professed goals is that empathy doesn’t do us anything. We’ve had lots of empathy; we’ve had lots of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have viewed politics as the art of the possible. And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible. What does it mean to hear that 13.3 percent of the people in this country are below the poverty line? That’s a percentage. We’re not interested in social reconstruction; it’s human reconstruction. How can we talk about percentages and trends? The complexities are not lost in our analyses, but perhaps they’re just put into what we consider a more human and eventually a more progressive perspective.

The question about possible and impossible was one that we brought with us to Wellesley four years ago. We arrived not yet knowing what was not possible. Consequently, we expected a lot. Our attitudes are easily understood having grown up, having come to consciousness in the first five years of this decade—years dominated by men with dreams, men in the civil rights movement, the Peace Corps, the space program—so we arrived at Wellesley and we found, as all of us have found, that there was a gap between expectation and realities. But it wasn’t a discouraging gap and it didn’t turn us into cynical, bitter old women at the age of 18. It just inspired us to do something about that gap. What we did is often difficult for some people to understand. They ask us quite often: “Why, if you’re dissatisfied, do you stay in a place?” Well, if you didn’t care a lot about it you wouldn’t stay. It’s almost as though my mother used to say, “You know I’ll always love you but there are times when I certainly won’t like you.” Our love for this place, this particular place, Wellesley College, coupled with our freedom from the burden of an inauthentic reality allowed us to question basic assumptions underlying our education.

Before the days of the media orchestrated demonstrations, we had our own gathering over in Founder’s parking lot. We protested against the rigid academic distribution requirement. We worked for a pass-fail system. We worked for a say in some of the process of academic decision making. And luckily we were at a place where, when we questioned the meaning of a liberal arts education there were people with enough imagination to respond to that questioning. So we have made progress. We have achieved some of the things that we initially saw as lacking in that gap between expectation and reality. Our concerns were not, of course, solely academic as all of us know. We worried about inside Wellesley questions of admissions, the kind of people that were coming to Wellesley, the kind of people that should be coming to Wellesley, the process for getting them here. We questioned about what responsibility we should have both for our lives as individuals and for our lives as members of a collective group.

Coupled with our concerns for the Wellesley inside here in the community were our concerns for what happened beyond Hathaway House. We wanted to know what relationship Wellesley was going to have to the outer world. We were lucky in that Miss Adams, one of the first things she did was set up a cross-registration with MIT because everyone knows that education just can’t have any parochial bounds anymore. One of the other things that we did was the Upward Bound program. There are so many other things that we could talk about; so many attempts to kind of—at least the way we saw it—pull ourselves into the world outside. And I think we’ve succeeded. There will be an Upward Bound program, just for one example, on the campus this summer.

Many of the issues that I’ve mentioned—those of sharing power and responsibility, those of assuming power and responsibility—have been general concerns on campuses throughout the world. But underlying those concerns there is a theme, a theme which is so trite and so old because the words are so familiar. It talks about integrity and trust and respect. Words have a funny way of trapping our minds on the way to our tongues but there are necessary means even in this multimedia age for attempting to come to grasps with some of the inarticulate maybe even inarticulable things that we’re feeling.

We are, all of us, exploring a world that none of us even understands and attempting to create within that uncertainty. But there are some things we feel, feelings that our prevailing, acquisitive, and competitive corporate life, including tragically the universities, is not the way of life for us. We’re searching for more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating modes of living. And so our questions, our questions about our institutions, about our colleges, about our churches, about our government continue. The questions about those institutions are familiar to all of us. We have seen them heralded across the newspapers. Senator Brooke has suggested some of them this morning. But along with using these words—integrity, trust, and respect—in regard to institutions and leaders, we’re perhaps harshest with them in regard to ourselves.

Every protest, every dissent, whether it’s an individual academic paper or Founder’s parking lot demonstration, is unabashedly an attempt to forge an identity in this particular age. That attempt at forging for many of us over the past four years has meant coming to terms with our humanness. Within the context of a society that we perceive—now we can talk about reality, and I would like to talk about reality sometime, authentic reality, inauthentic reality, and what we have to accept of what we see—but our perception of it is that it hovers often between the possibility of disaster and the potentiality for imaginatively responding to men’s needs. There’s a very strange conservative strain that goes through a lot of New Left, collegiate protests that I find very intriguing because it harkens back to a lot of the old virtues, to the fulfillment of original ideas. And it’s also a very unique American experience. It’s such a great adventure. If the experiment in human living doesn’t work in this country, in this age, it’s not going to work anywhere.

But we also know that to be educated, the goal of it must be human liberation. A liberation enabling each of us to fulfill our capacity so as to be free to create within and around ourselves. To be educated to freedom must be evidenced in action, and here again is where we ask ourselves, as we have asked our parents and our teachers, questions about integrity, trust, and respect. Those three words mean different things to all of us. Some of the things they can mean, for instance: Integrity, the courage to be whole, to try to mold an entire person in this particular context, living in relation to one another in the full poetry of existence. If the only tool we have ultimately to use is our lives, so we use it in the way we can by choosing a way to live that will demonstrate the way we feel and the way we know. Integrity—a man like Paul Santmire. Trust. This is one word that when I asked the class at our rehearsal what it was they wanted me to say for them, everyone came up to me and said “Talk about trust, talk about the lack of trust both for us and the way we feel about others. Talk about the trust bust.” What can you say about it? What can you say about a feeling that permeates a generation and that perhaps is not even understood by those who are distrusted? All we can do is keep trying again and again and again. There’s that wonderful line in “East Coker” by Eliot about there’s only the trying, again and again and again; to win again what we’ve lost before.

And then respect. There’s that mutuality of respect between people where you don’t see people as percentage points. Where you don’t manipulate people. Where you’re not interested in social engineering for people. The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. And the word consequences of course catapults us into the future. One of the most tragic things that happened yesterday, a beautiful day, was that I was talking to a woman who said that she wouldn’t want to be me for anything in the world. She wouldn’t want to live today and look ahead to what it is she sees because she’s afraid. Fear is always with us but we just don’t have time for it. Not now.

There are two people that I would like to thank before concluding. That’s Ellie Acheson, who is the spearhead for this, and also Nancy Scheibner who wrote this poem which is the last thing that I would like to read:

My entrance into the world of so-called “social problems”
Must be with quiet laughter, or not at all.
The hollow men of anger and bitterness
The bountiful ladies of righteous degradation
All must be left to a bygone age.
And the purpose of history is to provide a receptacle
For all those myths and oddments
Which oddly we have acquired
And from which we would become unburdened
To create a newer world
To translate the future into the past.
We have no need of false revolutions
In a world where categories tend to tyrannize our minds
And hang our wills up on narrow pegs.
It is well at every given moment to seek the limits in our lives.
And once those limits are understood
To understand that limitations no longer exist.
Earth could be fair. And you and I must be free
Not to save the world in a glorious crusade
Not to kill ourselves with a nameless gnawing pain
But to practice with all the skill of our being
The art of making possible.

Thanks.


Photo credit: Courtesy of Wellesley College Archives/Photo by Stimmell

Inside the Podcast Studio: HerMoney with Jean Chatzky

On this month’s edition of Inside the Podcast Studio, we sit down with Jean Chatzky, financial editor at NBC’s TODAY Show and creator of the HerMoney with Jean Chatzky podcast. Learn more about how Jean got into podcasting, and why her longtime television format has translated so well.

On the Show

Tell us about how the podcast came to be.
It came up in a brainstorming session with some terrific hermoney-3000x3000women I’ve been working with at Fidelity Investments. We were talking about ways to get more women talking about money, not just on special occasions, but on a regular basis. Someone (not me!) said podcast. And off we went.

What is your team like? How do you work together?
My internal team consists of a very small but dedicated and collaborative group of women. We get together to brainstorm show ideas, guests we want to book, topics we need to cover, then divide and conquer to make sure that we cross off every item on our lists.  What I love most about my team is that every person is willing to dive in and do whatever is needed to get the work done!  This is important because the podcast is just one of the things we do together—we produce a monthly in-school magazine called Your $ for two million fourth through sixth graders, research and write segments and stories for TODAY and Forbes.com, and created educational financial content for our corporate partners including Fidelity Investments and Pepsi-Co. On the podcast side, we’re highly supported by (and grateful to) our colleagues at PRX.

Where do you find stories for the show?
Life. Friends. Other media. The Internet. Seriously—I learned a long time ago to always have my ears tuned to that frequency. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been out to dinner with friends telling stories about their older parents, or insurance woes, or college tuition challenges or the fabulous TED Talk they saw, and I think: Story!

Tell us about your show and what makes it unique. Why are you so passionate about your subject matter?
HerMoney with Jean Chatzky is a continuing conversation to learn about money. Asking the questions I had to in-the-know people put me (as a woman) in the driver’s seat of my own financial life. It made me feel more confident, comfortable and in control. I want to help our listeners through the exact IMG_0184same experience. What I’ve also learned is that money is like a thread that winds through pretty much all aspects of life. So we won’t just talk about 12B-1 mutual fund fees and other boring minutia—we talk about relationships, kids, parents, work, life, fun, fear, challenging situations and using money as a tool to get what you want.

We love the fan questions section of the podcast. What questions do you get asked most often? What worries people the most?
I get a lot of common questions. Some of them include:
Do I have enough for retirement, college, emergencies, my first home (fill in the blank(?
Who can I trust to help me? And how can I find that person?
What’s the smart way to repay my student loan, mortgage, credit card bills (again, fill in the blank)?

Women are most worried about running out of money before they run out of time.

Spring Clean Your Finances
Jean on The TODAY Show

How do you think the podcast episodes can complement your presence on the TODAY Show?
I love the fact that I have more time! The wonderful thing about podcasting is that although we try to stick to a clock, we aren’t slaves to it. We can give our interviews time to breathe. In addition to answering the questions, I get to ask them. I’m a very good interviewer (three decades of practice will do that), but you don’t get to see that on TODAY!

Arianna Huffington
Jean with Arianna at HuffPo

What makes your show ideal for the podcast format?
The podcasting format gives us freedom to keep asking questions until we actually get a satisfactory answer—that’s very important in the world of money. Also, we’re featuring fascinating women—Arianna Huffington, Gretchen Rubin, Joanna Coles—we want to hear their stories, and we have plenty of time to do that.

On the Space

Where do you literally do your work? Can you walk us through that space?
I’m laughing because I work wherever I am. My most important tool is my MacBook Air. I bought my first one—when Apple launched it—because it enabled me to replace the six-pound laptop I was never without with a three-pound laptop. It saved my shoulder. I do a lot of different things, but they all involve writing: books, scripts, etc.

Do you have a thinking or reflection space—somewhere you go outside the studio to gather creative inspiration?
I like to tell people I get my best ideas when I’m on a run or in the shower.  Interestingly, I learned from this week’s episode that there’s science behind the fact that people get great ideas in the shower. Linda Kaplan-Thaler and Robin Koval, authors of the new book Grit to Great (and inventors of the “Aflac duck” among other campaigns) explained that when there is hot running water hitting your head, the blood vessels in your brain open up and you get creative.  That was the inspiration behind their commercial for Herbal Essences where the woman stood under the shower saying, “Yes, yes, yes”. (Well, that and other things).

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Charles de Montebello of CDM Sound Studios

How do you record your show? What type of equipment does your team use for in-studio or at home recording vs. in the field? 
We record in CDM Sound Studios in Hell’s Kitchen—unless our guest needs us to come to them. Charles de Montebello of CDM does our editing. We’ve been in the studio at AOL on lower Broadway with Arianna Huffington, a WeWork conference room with a freelance producer to interview Giada DeLaurentiis, and at Milkboy The Studio in Philly with Jennifer Weiner.

On Podcasting

What can the podcast medium achieve that other media forms like broadcasts cannot?
Intimacy. It’s just me and you (and my guest) in your car, or in your ears, while you’re walking the dog (or swimming, or IMG_0178running). That’s very helpful when you’re talking about an intimate subject… and money is nothing if not intimate.

What do you think makes a great podcast host? Tell us more about what makes you unique as a podcast host?
A great podcast host is someone you want to jump out of the headphones and sit down with you for a cup of coffee. I think people see me that way — they feel like they know me from 20 years on TV. This is our opportunity to take our relationship to the next level.

How do you envision the future of podcasting landscape?
I think the future of podcasting is so exciting because it’s one more step in the democratization of content. My father ran network affiliated television stations during my childhood and there was such limited capacity that there were always terrific programs either never making it on the air or being cancelled too quickly.  Today, there are so many more homes for content that good programming has a greater opportunity to make it on the air initially and find its audience.  I am hopeful that we’re headed toward a rise in quality content that is more meaningful to the people who tune in.

Follow Jean Chatzky on Twitter @JeanChatzky. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes here, and look out for new episodes every Wednesday.

What’s in My Buds? With Catherine from The Moth

This month, we chatted with Catherine Burns, longtime artistic director of The Moth. As one of the lead directors on the Moth’s MainStage for more than a decade, Catherine has helped hundreds of people craft their stories, including a Nobel Laureate, a retired New York City cop, a jaguar tracker and an exonerated prisoner. Along with Jay Allison she is the producer of The Moth Radio Hour, and the editor of the international best seller The Moth: 50 True Stories. Here’s what she’s listening to now.

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Catherine

What show do you wake up to?
On my best days, I start with a very early morning workout. My constant companion is the radio show/podcast On Being, which is hosted by the ethereal Krista Tippett. In 2010 I became a parent for the first time. Those first months are a precious time in your life, but also completely exhausting and kind of isolating. But then one morning, Krista’s voice came over my public radio station (WNYC), and I was mesmerized.

The show features interviews with physicists, novelists, musicians, you name it-–all discussing the “Big Questions”. Why are we alive? How do we live into our questions and create a life for ourselves that is in tune with our deepest values? This was just what I needed. On the longest nights when I was up with my beloved infant son, barely staying awake and hanging on, I knew that if I could just make it until Krista’s voice came on the air, everything would be okay. I subscribed to the podcast and haven’t missed an episode since.  

 

What show do you fall asleep to?
I adore The Memory Palace podcast. I tend to listen to it at night when I’m getting ready for bed, trying to wind down from my day, because the host, Nate DiMeo, has a very soothing voice. Each episode takes you into a specific time in the past, as if you are a person living in that time. 
 

I first got hooked on an episode about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. I grew up in Alabama, but have lived in New York City for nearly two decades, and I’m obsessed with stories about the city’s past. I knew a lot about the building of this iconic bridge, and honestly didn’t think there was much more I could learn. I was wrong. 

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Catherine and her son

Nate pulled me into the perils and challenges of that construction site in a completely fresh way. You feel like you are there, deep under the water, digging through the muck. More recent episodes cover a show lion named Leo, and what it was like to be a homesteader in the late 1800s (me and my now six-year-old son listened to that last one together as we’re currently reading all the Little House on the Prairie books, and are fascinated with that time period.)

What is your favorite listening environment?
I do much of my listening while commuting by foot and train. Like most of our artistic staff, I listen to 2-3 hours of audio a week, screening stories from The Moth’s 500+ annual live storytelling shows to determine what we’re going to put on The Moth Radio Hour and podcast. I have a 15-minute walk to the subway, and then a half hour ride to get to our office. I love listening on the go because I figure most of our fans also listen to The Moth in this way, so if I have trouble following a story while crossing the street or transferring trains, then so will they. We sometimes call this “the laundry test”: Can you fold laundry and follow this story? It’s important because few people listen to a podcast while sitting, staring at a blank wall with fancy headphones.

What’s a podcast that doesn’t currently exist that you think should?
Hands down–one hosted by Sharon Salzberg. She’s one of the greatest meditation teachers alive. She is so wise and funny (I’ve heard people refer to her as a “sit down comic” ). She has this way of humanizing meditation and Buddism, and making it easy to understand and put into practice. She’s one of the greatest storytellers alive (we’re working on getting her on The Moth stage.) She’s also a columnist for On Being’s website. Maybe they’ll do a spin-off with her!
*Editor’s note: it turns out, Sharon does have a podcast! Take a listen here

How do you envision the future of the podcasting landscape?
What I love about podcasting is that you can create a beautiful piece of audio that appeals to a very specific group of people, and give them access to that audio in an easy way. It’s so different from the 1970’s and 80’s when I grew up, where, if a TV show didn’t have millions of viewers, it was considered a failure. Nowadays, you can create art for a niche audience. You don’t need Games of Thrones or even Serial-level numbers to find an audience and be a success. I hope that we’ll continue to see more podcasts that take on micro-cultures and explore them in an original way.

We’re living in this magical time where many people have unprecedented on-demand access to media. I find a lot of inspiration in the author Seth Godin (another person who should have his own podcast!). He talks about making a product that you love, and going out and finding every single person in the world who would want it, and getting it to them. It’s the opposite of the Mad Men-era thinking, where they would first create a product and then try to convince everyone they had to have it IMMEDIATELY. It’s about finding the people who genuinely want what you are creating.
Moth Radio Podcast Logo

At The Moth, we take our podcast subscribers very seriously. Our broadcast numbers are much higher, but those 650,000+ podcast listeners? They are our core audience. They are the people who have signed up to get every new story we put out, sent directly to them. They are the backbone and the heart of our organization.

 

For more stories, subscribe to The Moth podcast in iTunes here.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Your Podquest Semifinalists

Earlier this year, PRX’s Radiotopia launched Podquest—an open call out for new podcast ideas, aiming to grow and diversify the network, nurture fresh talent and reach new audiences. Podquest is one of a series of new initiatives funded by girl-podquest-darka $1 million grant received in May 2015 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Podquest is additionally supported by Hindenburg Systems, the media talent network AIRmedia.org, and Blue Microphones.

We suspected we’d get a lot of submissions—seems like everyone has an idea for a podcast these days, right? Apparently so.

Check out the numbers!

  • Podquest submission window in months: 1
  • Total Podquest entries: 1,537
  • Submitter home countries: 53
  • Entries submitted in the final 24 hours: 1,000+
  • Entries submitted by:
    • Women: 43.1%
    • Men: 50.9%
    • Couldn’t tell (either unisex names or not obvious): 6%

Criteria

11 reviewers (from PRX and Radiotopia) worked to identify 10 semifinalists, or the “PQ10” from the 1,537 entries, with these criteria in mind:

  • Originality and strength of idea
  • Diversity of producer: background, voice, age, geography
  • Production quality and/or potential demonstrated by audio clip
  • Sustainability of idea
  • Sparkle factor—how/why did an idea stand out?
  • Relevance and uniqueness for Radiotopia network

Each semifinalist will receive:

  • $300
  • Office hours with Radiotopia producers
  • Two-year PRO account + Field Recorder app from Hindenburg Software
  • One-year membership to the media talent network AIR
  • Yeti microphone by Blue Microphone
  • Two-year PRX account

PQ10 by the numbers:

  • Pitches from women: 5
  • Pitches from a woman/man team: 2
  • Pitches from outside the US: 3
  • Pitches from diverse makers: 7
  • Pitches from people who are not audio producers by trade (yet): 5

Meet the PQ10!

Click to hear their voices, see their photos and read more about the semifinalists.

Dear and Sincerely, by Genevieve Kersten
Unemployed, depressed, and living in her parent’s basement, Genevieve decides to ask the smartest* person she knows for advice… herself.
*Indicates questionable judgement

Do Over, by Kelly Jones, Chioke L’Anson and Claire Tacon
Do Over is the real fake story of how your life could have turned out if you’d just done that one thing differently.

Ear Hustle, by Nigel Poor, Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods
Ear Hustle brings you the hidden stories of life inside prison, told and produced from the perspective of those who live it.

Meat, by Jonathan Zenti (ITALY)
Meat is a podcast about our bodies and the lives we live because of them.

Reflected Message by Jon Tjhia (AUS)
Perched at the edges of music and radio storytelling, Reflected Message is like an update of ‘folk’—pop-sized experiments with voices, memory, repetition and the everyday.

The Difference Between, by Jericho Saria and Hadrian Santos
The Difference Between dives into the world of “information doppelgängers”—the stuff you always confuse for that other thing—to find out what makes them truly unique.

The Stoop, by Leila Day, Hana Baba, Julie Caine and Chris Hoff
The Stoop is a space where race, identity, fun, funk and journalism come together in a tightly produced podcast that will go deep into issues about black identity that aren’t always openly discussed.

Third Culture, by Naima Sakande (UK)
Third Culture celebrates those who are from everywhere and belong nowhere, unearthing stories of juggled identities.

This Isn’t Working, by Susie Cagle
This Isn’t Working is a show about “making a living” in the U.S. in an age of corporate domination, industrial transition, and general labor weirdness.

Villain-ish by Vivian Le
Villain-ish is a show about gaining new perspectives on dubious figures that we’ve been taught to revile, and exploring the hidden details we may have never considered.

What’s next?

While we recover from whittling down the entries, our Radiotopia producers have been busy conducting “office hours” with the PQ10 and will continue to interview over the next few weeks. We’ll choose three finalists who will each receive $10,000 and editorial and technical support, to produce three episodes of their proposed shows between July – October. This fall we’ll invite at least one finalist to join Radiotopia… don’t worry, we’ll let you know all about it then.       


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Announcing: RadioPublic

PRX is proud to announce a new partnership: the formation of a hybrid enterprise called RadioPublicRadioPublic-Red

The company is focused on truly re-inventing radio, and bringing listeners and creators closer together. Its first task is to build a mobile listening platform that makes listening to podcasts as simple as radio. RadioPublic is aiming to create a new listening experience, featuring content discovery, exclusive offers, and fan engagement.

PRX has been working on podcasts for over a decade, sFullSizeRender-14o the hybrid mobile enterprise seemed like a natural fit for us. In fact, we inherited our conference table from
the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, where podcasting itself was invented. Over the years, we’ve been at the center of the podcasting wave, having built the first public radio mobile app, the Public Media Platform, and This American Life app. These were early experiments that gave us insight and prepared us for this moment. Kerri and Jake have spent the last year on this path towards RadioPublic, and are beyond excited to finally get it out the door.

807A9985-2Jake Shapiro, founding chief executive of PRX, will lead the new venture as CEO. Kerri Hoffman, who has also been with PRX since its start, will become PRX’s CEO

RadioPublic: when you listen, everyone benefits.

Learn more at Radiopublic.com and in the official press release below.

PRX Forms RadioPublic, a Mobile Listening Company, with Investment from The New York Times, Project11, McClatchy, Knight Enterprise Fund, American Public Media, and Homebrew

Jake Shapiro to Lead RadioPublic as CEO; Kerri Hoffman Becomes CEO of PRX.  

Cambridge, MA  (May 19, 2016) PRX, the award-winning public media company, announced today it has formed RadioPublic, a new company building a mobile listening platform for on-demand radio and podcasts. A Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), RadioPublic has secured funding from leading investors, including Project11, The New York Times, Knight Foundation Enterprise Fund, UP2398, American Public Media, McClatchy and Homebrew. Jake Shapiro, founding chief executive of PRX, will lead the new venture as CEO. Kerri Hoffman, who has also been with PRX since its start, will become PRX’s CEO.

Built on PRX’s decade of leadership, trusted producer relationships, and its reach of over 15 million monthly listeners across platforms, RadioPublic is partnering with PRX to create a new listening experience, featuring content discovery, exclusive offers, and fan engagement. When it launches later this year, RadioPublic listeners will have access to top podcasts as well as PRX’s full catalog, including The Moth Radio Hour, 99% Invisible, Reveal, the Radiotopia podcast network, and the Remix story channel. RadioPublic will also integrate with PRX’s dynamic ad product, Dovetail, which powers Serial and other signature shows. As a hybrid enterprise, RadioPublic and PRX share founding values of public service and openness, and will collaborate on technology, data, and revenue models.

“We are at a clear inflection point in the shift to on-demand radio through mobile devices and the connected car and home,” said RadioPublic CEO Jake Shapiro. “PRX has been public media’s engine for talent and technology from podcasting’s earliest days, and now together we’re rethinking radio and transforming the way listeners connect with the shows they love. ”

With Jake Shapiro’s transition to CEO of RadioPublic, Kerri Hoffman will take the reins as CEO of PRX. Kerri will continue to be a fierce champion of new voices, new formats and new business models. She played a key role in the building and evolution of PRX, and headed up the launch of Radiotopia. Hoffman is a proven advocate for a strong and vital public media service, and diversity in the industry. Under her direction, more than 50% of all Radiotopia shows are female produced, engineered and hosted.

“PRX has advanced programming, talent development, and technical platforms,” said Kerri Hoffman. “We proactively solve problems producers face, which has led to the strategic formation of RadioPublic. We’ve been simultaneously pioneering new services and strengthening others to help producers and stations grow audience and revenue.”

RadioPublic is entering the fast growing market for on-demand audio, podcasts, and spoken word content. The audience for podcasts has grown 23% in the last year, to over 57 million monthly listeners in the U.S.

“Podcasting is poised to be the foundation for a major shift in listener attention as the radio ecosystem becomes increasingly digital and on-demand,” said Bob Mason, managing partner at Project11 and founding CTO at Brightcove. “We’re excited by RadioPublic’s ability to be a transformative force, shifting an industry and creating aligned values between listeners and producers.”

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About PRX: PRX is shaping the future of public media content, talent and technology. PRX is a leading creator and distributor, connecting audio producers with their most engaged, supportive audiences across broadcast, web and mobile. A fierce champion of new voices, new formats, and new business models, PRX advocates for the entrepreneurial producer. PRX is an award-winning media company, reaching millions of listeners worldwide. For over a dozen years, PRX has operated public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of shows including This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, and Reveal. Named one of Fast Company’s ‘Ten Most Innovative Companies in Media’ of 2015, the company pioneered new approaches to talent and technology, built the first public radio mobile app and the Public Media Platform, and co-founded the media startup accelerator Matter Ventures. Follow us on Twitter at @prx.

About RadioPublic: RadioPublic is a mobile listening platform for on-demand radio and podcasts founded by PRX. RadioPublic creates a new listening experience, featuring content discovery, exclusive offers, and improved fan engagement. As a Public Benefit Corporation, RadioPublic shares public media’s educational, artistic, and journalistic mission, and the democratic values of open access to information. Learn more at radiopublic.com, and @radiopublic.

On Dovetail: PRX’s Ad Insertion Product

PRX Dovetail Logo

Dovetail is an audio publishing system built from the ground up to serve leading podcasts. PRX, the award-winning pioneer of new talent and technologies for the podcast industry, built Dovetail for producers to increase revenue and options for podcast sponsorship. Originally created for the Radiotopia network and PRX shows, such as The Moth and Reveal, Dovetail was successfully used to serve ads in the second season of Serial, the fastest growing podcast of all time.

With Dovetail, previously static ads can be scheduled and prioritized, capped and balanced, paired or separated. The rules consider a listener’s location, time, and device as well as if the requested episode is old or new, part of a network, or tagged for special handling, all providing maximum flexibility in controlling the ad experience.

To handle massive scale and complex ad serving, Dovetail relies on best-in-class content serving and traffic systems, integrated into a leading-edge media server to address some of the most pressing problems facing podcast producers and sponsors: dynamically delivering ads, and real-time reporting.

Podcasts have proven to be a successful medium for advertisers. They are selected media – chosen explicitly by the listener, making fan loyalty and engagement extraordinary. 

“On Serial Season Two, we had so many campaigns governed by different variables date, impression goal, episode, etc. coupled with a very high rate of downloads, that it would have been impossible to flight the creative without a super flexible ad serving system. PRX pulled it off with Dovetail. It had a huge effect on our ability to monetize the season’s 50M+ downloads,” (Seth Lind, Director of Operations at This American Life and Serial).

PRX has seen up to 40 percent of listening occurring on older episodes, especially for shows with large back catalogs and evergreen topics. There’s no single way for Radiotopia fans  to listen: some binge listen and some cherry-pick, but with Dovetail, PRX serves timely and varied ads to the entire catalog. Beyond improving revenue, the listener experience is also better when ads are relevant and fresh—no more promotions for fundraising drives that have ended or coupon codes that have expired.

PRX brings more than a decade of experience in digitally distributing hundreds of thousands of audio files around the world. In building Dovetail, the team pulled from this vast technical and sales experience, matched with the goals and needs of highly successful publishers.

Welcome Millennial!

PRX is proud to announce that as of today, Radiotopia will millennial-bluebe welcoming Millennial as the 14th show in our award-winning lineup. Millennial is a show that chronicles the life of host Megan Tan, as she learns to maneuver her 20s.

To listen to the latest episode of Millennial, which documents the drama and excitement of joining Radiotopia, go to Radiotopia.fm or Millennialpodcast.org/radiotopia. Listeners can also subscribe to Millennial in iTunes, or listen via podcast players like Stitcher or TuneIn.

Check out all of the details in this press release below.

 

Radiotopia Welcomes Millennial’s Fresh, New Voice to the Podcast Network’s Award-Winning Lineup

Real life in real time: Producer Megan Tan reveals the next chapter for her show—and her life—on the May 17th episode of Millennial.

Cambridge, MA  (May 17, 2016) Radiotopia, the award-winning podcast network from PRX, welcomes Millennial as the 14th show in its award-winning lineup. In real time, Millennial follows the trials and tribulations of host and producer Megan Tan as she chronicles a subject rarely taught in school—mill_logo1maneuvering your 20s. To listen to the latest episode of Millennial, which documents the drama and excitement of joining Radiotopia, go to Radiotopia.fm or Millennialpodcast.org/radiotopia. Listeners can also subscribe to Millennial in iTunes, or listen via podcast players like Stitcher, Spotify or TuneIn.

Tan’s accessible, honest and candid accounts of life, love and career have been played over 540,000 times by listeners of all ages since she launched the show from her closet in January 2015. By the end of the year, The Atlantic picked Millennial as #14 in their top 50 podcasts of 2015, noting, “Serialized podcasts are still relatively rare, especially memoire-style ones like these, and especially ones that are this good. Be warned: you’re going to want to binge season one.”

Tan has been called “more likeable than anyone in Girls” by The Guardian. “I am so excited to join the Radiotopia family and to continue doing what I love: making a podcast with honesty and sincerity while I grow and experiment,” said Tan. “This certainly doesn’t mean I’ve figured out my 20s, but I am feeling pretty good about this podcast thing right about now.”

Anchored by the wildly popular 99% Invisible, Radiotopia is a curated network of 14 extraordinary, story-driven podcasts, including Criminal, Song Exploder, and Strangers. Radiotopia empowers independent producers to do their best work, grow audience and increase revenue. The network now sees over 12 million downloads per month, and its recent talent search for new podcasts resulted in 1,537 entries from over 50 countries. Radiotopia is a partnership between PRX and Roman Mars, creator of 99% Invisible, supported by the Knight Foundation, and led by Executive Producer Julie Shapiro. In 2015, the network was named one of Fast Company’s ‘World’s 10 Most Innovative Companies Backed by Kickstarter’.

“Radiotopia exists to support creative and independent voices across the podcast landscape, and Millennial fits in perfectly,” said Shapiro. “Megan is a talented and passionate producer, who has impressively built up her show all on her own so far. Now we are excited to offer Radiotopia’s support in helping Megan do her best work, increase revenue and grow her audience—both among traditional podcast listeners and with a younger demographic, who will hear their own experiences reflected in Millennial.”

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About PRX: PRX is shaping the future of public media content, talent and technology. PRX is a leading creator and distributor, connecting audio producers with their most engaged, supportive audiences across broadcast, web and mobile. A fierce champion of new voices, new formats, and new business models, PRX advocates for the entrepreneurial producer. PRX is an award-winning media company, reaching millions of listeners worldwide. For over a dozen years, PRX has operated public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of shows, including This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, and Reveal. Follow us on Twitter at @prx.

Song Exploder Live at the Sydney Opera House

On Monday, May 30th, Song Exploder will make its international debut at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Vivid LIVE Artist Talks program.

Song Exploder host Hrishikesh Hirway will interview Hiatus Kaiyote as they take apart one of their Gsongexploder-logo-2rammy-nominated songs, piece by piece, in a live session. The session will reveal how their music is made and the
personal stories behind the lyrics and melodies.

Melding electric jazz virtuosity with the beat-making dexterity of Flying Lotus and Madlib, Hiatus Kaiyote are a future-soul
quartet formed in Melbourne, Australia. Self-described as ‘multi-dimensional, polyrhythmic gangster sh*t’, singer-guitarist Nai Palm leads with her soul-driven force that unites R&B lovers, hip-hop heads and heavy music fans alike.

vividHrishikesh is also the leader of the electronic pop group The One AM Radio, one half of avant-rap outfit Moors along with American
actor/rapper Keith Stanfield, a producer, designer and composer for film and TV.

If you’re in Sydney and want to attend the live taping for free, get your tickets here.

Radiotopia Live: A Recap

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Photo credits: Gadi Creative

On May 4th, 2016, Radiotopia presented its first live show at the Ace Theater in Los Angeles, to a sold out room. The event was Radiotopia’s first foray into live performance as a network, and we were thrilled to take the stage in front of more than 1,500 friends and fans. Nine of our 13 shows performed. Throughout the evening we laughed, we cried, and cheered together as Radiotopia hit a new milestone in its two-year history.

The Show

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The Memory Palace

The Memory Palace- “This Room, Right Here”
Nate set the stage for the evening by telling the history and founding of United Artists and the Theatre at Ace Hotel itself.

Fugitive Waves with The Kitchen Sisters- “Nobody Can Soldier Without Coffee”
Nikki and Davia told the story of coffee in the Civil War- the most popular topic in soldier’s letters to home.

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The Allusionist

The Allusionist- “Making a Mark”
After some banter with Roman, Helen gave us a humorous recap of the history of penmanship.

Radio Diaries- “Juan’s Diary: Undocumented”
Founder Joe sat down with past teenage diarist Juan Rodriguez to talk about living in the US undocumented.

Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything- “UFO’s Are Real”
Benjamen took the audience through a story of outsider art, UFOs and modern-day drones.

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Criminal

Criminal- “The Finger”
Phoebe and Lauren told the story of a man who loves giving police officers “the finger”. Check it out on the latest episode of their podcast.

Strangers- “Love Hurts, The Prequel”
In a moving first-person story, Lea revealed the prequel to her ‘Love Hurts’ series.

Mortified- “Stairway to Winnipeg”
Past diarist Johanna diarist performed a history report on Winnipeg/Led Zeppelin cover song she wrote in high school, meant to woo her crush.

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99% Invisible

99% Invisible- “Anchorwoman”
Accompanied by live music, Roman, Avery and writer Jon Mooallem wove the tale of an earthquake in Alaska and how one news station persevered.

Song Exploder- 
Throughout the night, interstitial music provided by Hrishi helped pull the evening together.

Coin Check

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Coin check!

Radiotopia Live further proved we have the most passionate fans in the world.
Hands down. At the end of the evening we pulled off the largest coin check of the year, asking the audience to pull out the popular
99% Invisible-inspired premium from our 2015 fundraising campaign. As we looked out at the crowd and saw a theatre full of fans holding coins in the air, we were truly humbled. We couldn’t possibly have made our live show happen without our sustaining donors.

What We Learned

A big challenge in planning the show was figuring out how to weave stories from nine very diverse shows into one cohesive program. We realized Radiotopia podcasts cover a wide range of subject matter, but still feel connected and relevant to each other through their high-quality, sound-rich styles and formats. With Roman Mars as master of ceremonies, we created a physical representation of Radiotopia, and transported the audience to a place where “everything is radio, and everything is very good” (quote from now EP Julie Shapiro when she coined the name “Radiotopia” years ago at a conference).

As producers and radio makers, we’ve never had to think about stagecraft, but in order to put on a good live show, technical production is vital. We hired anamazing team of professionals, led by our friend Lynn Finkel who has worked on TED, the Grammys, the Emmys and more. Having a stellar production team

Team bow
Team bow

allowed our producers to focus on their stories and performances, rather than the dirty details. From the captivating lighting in Lea Thau’s story of heartbreak, to the perfectly timed smoke machine choreography, to the media clips played throughout the night, Lynn’s team made sure our show looked as good as it sounded.

We continue to learn that if our stories are compelling, our listeners will follow; even to new mediums. During the show, what felt like magic was actually love and energy from our fans, both in-person and online through social media. We can’t thank you enough for your support, and to those who missed our first show… we’re already talking about when and where the next Radiotopia Live show will happen!

Huge thank you to our amazing sponsors, including Poo-pourri, A1-Array, Kind, Hint, KCRW, Knight Foundation and Mailchimp. And another enormous thank you to Gadi Creative for capturing these amazing photos and video! 

What’s in My Buds? With Chris from TuneIn

On this month’s edition of “What’s in My Buds?”, we chat with Chris Peterson, Content Partnership Manager at TuneIn. Chris has a long, successful career in the audio space. He told us:

My love for radio started early, as it did with many in our industry. I was the kid calling into radio stations and annoying the DJs until I got on air, and the kid who argued about which station was the best. I started my career working at Premiere Networks with numerous talk shows and sports programming: Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, The Glenn Beck Program, Bobby Bones and more. I moved to the digital side of content with the launch of TheBlaze Radio Network, which quickly became one of the most-listened-to networks in the country. Later, having worked in multiple formats in terrestrial and digital, live and on-demand, I found myself wanting to combine all of that experience; TuneIn was just about the only place to do that. Now I’m helping content creators, from podcasters to live radio hosts, tell their stories, and maximizing their exposure to our 60 million active monthly users.

Here’s what Chris is listening to now.

What is your go-to podcast and why?
Can I pick more than one? My “must listen on the day they come out” are: WTF CP headshotwith Marc Maron, The Nerdist, and The Bill Simmons Podcast. Bill Burr, 99% InvisibleIAMRAPAPORT and StartUp are also in heavy rotation.

What is your favorite listening environment? 
I get the majority of my podcast listening done while commuting on BART into San Francisco each day, which is about the only thing that helps me cope with the overcrowding and delays. I also enjoy stacking up a playlist of podcasts for long flights, they really help the time fly by much quicker than staring at SkyMall for hours on end.
 
What show do you rave to your friends about? 
Mike Rowe started a new podcast recently called The Way I Heard It with Mike Roweand I’ve been telling everyone about it. It’s a really quick five-minute podcast that tells stories in the style of the legendary Paul Harvey. For high consumption podcast listeners, and newbies alike, I think this is a strong candidate to add into your rotation.
 
If you’re not listening to a podcast, what do you put on to listen to? Everything from Howard Stern to a punk playlist. I’ve also been really getting more into jazz lately… trying to class it up a bit. We just got an Amazon Echo, which makes my eclectic tastes really easy to satisfy by just saying “Alexa, play ____ on TuneIn” while I’m cooking dinner or doing a project around the house. Also, with my wife and I expecting our first baby any day now, I have tried to have some kind of music on in the background during the last nine months, so there is always something on in our house.
 
What do you think makes a great podcast host?
It’s the same as it is with a terrestrial host: be genuine with your audience. Even though I’ve never met Chris Hardwick or Marc Maron (yet), I feel like I know them through the hundreds of interviews I’ve heard them conduct. They aren’t doing anything other than being themselves during their podcasts and doing their best to really get to know their subject in the time they have. Same thing goes for great radio interviewers like Elvis Duran and Howard Stern—they aren’t just trying to force an answer to get a headline like so many people do these days. They take their time with a guest, make them feel comfortable and have an honest conversation.
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Podcasts on TuneIn

What can the podcast medium achieve that other media forms, like broadcast, cannot?
There are no barriers in podcasting, which make it one of the most open and available ways for anyone in the world to create content; which is pretty awesome. Anyone with a smartphone or computer can record their story, opinion, or whatever idea they have, and make it available for the world to hear by distributing it (for free) on platforms like TuneIn. Pretty amazing.

How do you think podcasts will continue emerge and grow?
I see more and more terrestrial radio companies/stations looking at podcasting as a way to build new audience and, possibly more importantly, new talent. Because of that, I believe they’ll start looking at current podcast creators for content as well. If I were programming a terrestrial station, why wouldn’t I consider bringing in content from a team like All Things Comedyor a radio show with the creators of Criminal? It’s great content and I think both sides would greatly benefit from using each other a little more.

For further listening, check out Radiotopia podcasts on TuneIn, the team’s Editors Picks for Radiotopia, or other PRX shows in TuneIn.