Katherine Maher, deeply experienced executive, will be NPR’s new CEO

NPR has revealed its newly appointed CEO: Katherine Maher, announced on the network’s news and commentary program All Things Considered. Maher will inherit the seat now occupied by John Lansing, who took the top job in September, 2019, when he replaced outgoing chief executive Jarl Mohn. Lansing recently announced his resignation. Katherine Maher owns a deep resume. Continue Reading

Spoken word audio report (NPR / Edison Research): Record high consumption; podcast share growing; AM/FM unbeatable in the car

The fifth annual iteration of The Spoken Word Audio Report has been released by Edison Research and NPR. While the research continues to measure basic trend lines of listening to spoken word content, such as reach and time-of-day metrics, this year the two companies bring a special emphasis on listening locations. This post takes a fairly deep dive and provides a download link. Continue Reading

A “free fall in advertising” causes upcoming 12% layoff sweep at NY Public Radio

New York Public Radio is planning to terminate 12% of its employed positions, in the latest contraction in the NPR universe, as reported by The New York Times. The Times quoted a NYPR internal memo from LaFontaine Oliver, New York Public Radio’s president and chief executive, in which the situation was characterized as a “free fall in the advertising market.” Click for more detail. Continue Reading

Boomers are a tough podcast demo, but worth winning (Edison Research / NPR)

In nearly every listening metric, the Boomer generation lags younger groups when it comes to involvement in online audio generally, and podcasting specifically. That’s the conclusion of an interesting and revealing collection of data from Edison Research and NPR. Boomers act differently from younger groups in key audio-related behaviors, making older listeners clearly identifiable and attractive. Click for takeaways and a link to the study. Continue Reading

NPR guides 8.8M followers away from Twitter in reaction to “government-funded” label

NPR’s most recent content post on Twitter is dated April 4 — a piece of political news. After that post, Twitter CEO Elon Musk applied this identifying label to NPR’s account: “Government-funded media.” This morning we see a tweetstorm of NPR links to the network’s other social sites and public resources, as NPR quits Twitter and guides 8.8-million followers to other social sites. Continue Reading

Planet Money podcast started a record label, and now has a hit

Last October the Planet Money podcast announced that it was starting a record label — with one song: “Inflation” by Earnest Jackson. The song was independently released 47 years previously, but failed to reach any kind of “hit” status. Planet Money thought current economic conditions warranted a re-release, and also wanted to learn about the economics of the music business, so the podcast crew put the song on Spotify. Now it’s a hit. Continue Reading

NPR completes promised layoffs, discontinues four podcasts in “existential” cost reduction

A month after announcing upcoming layoffs, NPR has started and possibly completed the 10% workforce reduction. CEO John Lansing calls the action “existential.” The action is NPR’s largest layoff since 2008. Four podcasts will be discontinued. Individual and departmental targets are not specified, but it’s a broad sweep across many functions and types of work. NPM is not affected. Click for more details. Continue Reading

NPR podcasts are now part of Spotify’s SPAN marketplace, keeping the distinctive NPR promo sound

In an announcement timed  to coincide with last week’s Podcast Movement Evolutions conference, NPR has joined the Spotify Audience Network (SPAN), adding one of the world’s most listened-to catalogs to the streaming giant’s podcast monetization platform. It is the first time NPR has gone beyond its direct-sold advertising to work with a partner. Spotify will monetize unsold inventory, NPR told RAIN, and retain NPR’s trademark sponsorship sound. Click for more detail. Continue Reading