The Future of Listening

January 11, 2015

What's your favorite podcast? Are you thinking about launching one of your own? Smart phones and digital distribution have made it easier to get into the radio game. After the breakout success of Serial, it seems like everyone’s talking about podcasts. But what does it take to make a hit show? And what does a wave of new, independent programs mean for good ol’ radio?

In this hour, we talk with innovative producers, long-time podcast hosts and ingenious station managers, all of who agree: podcasting is changing listening.

  1. Alex Blumberg on Our Podcast Future

    Alex Blumberg used to be a producer for This American Life. He also co-founded NPR's Planet Money. He recently left public radio to launch his own podcast production company, called Gimlet Media. They've already got two podcasts out, with a third on the way. He says, with smart phones and Wi-Fi enabled cars, people have more opportunity to listen to what they want, when they want.

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  2. What About Public Radio?

    What does the growing popularity of podcasts mean for public radio? Are they competition? Inspiration? For insight, we turned to one content director who's also launched a few podcasts.

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  3. It's a Gabfest - Emily Bazelon

    Emily Bazelon is one of the hosts of Slate's Political Gabfest podcast, which has been out since 2005. She talks with Rehman Tungekar about how the Gabfest got started, how they prepare for an episode, and why it's so popular.

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  4. Sounds, Original at WFMU

    Want to start your own podcast? If you're trying to figure out how to start an original show, you might want to tune in to WFMU for inspiration. It's a small station with a big reputation for innovation. Long-time station manager Ken Freedman says the heart of what makes the station unique is the spontaneity that can only come from "live, human radio."

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  5. BookMark: Samuel Scheffler on "The Children of Men"

    Philosopher Samuel Scheffler bookmarks "The Children of Men" by P.D. James.

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  6. On Our Minds: Keeping Speech Free

    The 12 people who died during the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office are on our minds this week. Most of the victims were cartoonists for the French satirical weekly. Its reporters and editor received death threats for the magazine’s depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. A hit-list published in an Al Qaeda magazine in 2013 also named the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. Steve Paulson talked with him a few years ago, while Westergaard was living in hiding in Denmark.

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