On the dramatic day The Wall came down—November 9, 1989— I got a call from my boss at ABC News Radio. “Get on tonight’s flight to Berlin.” For a young network news reporter, it was a dream assignment. Over the next two weeks, armed with a portable cassette recorder, notepad and microphone, I covered many … Continue reading What Happens When the World Changes in a Single Day
Podcasting is now mainstream and has just moved into a new phase. Let’s call it the 2nd Wave. While most media content producers no longer need convincing that they should be doing podcasts, they’re also starting to realize that this medium is unique and that they don’t know how to make them. Unique how? - … Continue reading Why we listen to podcasts and what makes them different from radio and other forms of communication.
I’m listening to Michelle Obama read her audio book to me. I’m on my own with my headphones and so is she. I picture the former First Lady sitting upright and calm, with good posture, in a small sound-proofed recording booth with a cool glass of water by her side, alone with her thoughts and … Continue reading The Michelle Obama Example: Why Book Publishers Should Make Podcasts With Their Best-Selling Authors
In an increasingly crowded field of Monday-to-Friday podcasts, “The Daily” from The New York Times is still the most popular news show, with about 1.75 million downloads per episode. According to one estimate, the number of daily podcasts has more than tripled in less than two years. The competition now includes news shows by NPR, … Continue reading Daily podcasts are booming. But here’s why some will fail…
For more than three decades I spent my working life in network radio news, reading scripts and speaking to the clock. As a journalist covering politics, wars and the financial markets, I had to master the art of the precis — telling compact, compelling stories using a minimum number of carefully chosen words. As a radio news-talk … Continue reading Throw away the seatbelts. What I had to un-learn after a long career in network radio.
I was kind of giddy last weekend after that SNL podcast skit. The one that made fun of our emerging industry. In the send up, a bearded and bespectacled Liev Shreiber (who played Michael Barbaro) said that podcasts “are like delicious little whispered documentaries.” Wow, SNL is making fun of us! We’re on the map. One more … Continue reading Let 550,000 flowers bloom. The stunning variety of podcasting is also its charm.
This is the first of several blogs on making better podcasts. Today: how to be a great guest. The other day I was interviewing a young woman who wanted to work on a podcast project with us. About half of her answers began with the all-too-frequent comment, “that’s a really good question.” I wanted to … Continue reading “Thats a really good question” and other silly things guests say during podcasts.
A number one train in motion ...Yeah, I know it’s a pain— especially in rush hour, at the weekends when there’s limited service, or if the guy sitting next to me is manspreading. But there are also times of unexpected delight on the New York City subway, when a stranger makes you smile. Friday nights … Continue reading Sometimes I love riding with NYC subway…
The Sea of Galilee at sunset...Looking west Us versus them. Right against wrong. Accept the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. Wag your finger and reject it outright. Far too often in our beautiful, colorful, chaotic and profoundly interesting world, political and moral arguments are reduced to simple either/or choices. My side good. Your side bad. In … Continue reading I swam with Muslims in The Sea of Galilee
It’s baseball season, thank goodness. So before I get into my windup and start hurling metaphors, let me say that I love interviewing professors on our podcasts . These learned souls are almost always thoughtful, highly intelligent, and often funny. Their bases are loaded with interesting ideas. Professors understand nuance and are good at reminding … Continue reading Professors on Podcasts: A Rant.