Jul 4, 2016

MMMM #542---Recreating NPR for The Millennials.

The end of Public Radio, at least as we know it!

     First, new Car Talk shows ended because of the death of co-host. 
     Now, the end of Prairie Home Companion...not the show, but the founding host. From the show's website:
"We begin a new chapter this fall as musician Chris Thile takes over for Garrison Keillor as the new host of A Prairie Home Companion, bringing a fresh approach to an audience favorite. Beginning on October 15, 2016, Thile will host a 30-week season, including live broadcasts, produced shows and repeats on public radio stations nationwide."

     I was a loyal listener to the show, but less so in recent years. It
was comfortable in it's predictability, perhaps to a fault. One L.A. Times reviewer used the word "polarizing"...or at least the headline writer did, and in my mind, that word usage mis-colored the entire report:

In defense of Garrison Keillor: His polarizing 'Prairie Home Companion' ends this weekend... in Hollywood

   Yet nowhere in the story did I find that word used. And the closest it came to the meaning was a reference to Keillor's voice:

Some find his voice, which has acquired a late-period breathlessness alongside an oak-cask richness, like nails on a chalkboard. For some it is too white, too Midwestern, too old – the median listener is 59, according to Nielsen. For some that's reason enough to dismiss it.
     NPR has launched many new shows to lure younger listeners, and as I have written in previous MMMM posts, my reaction to some of them is viscerally negative. The hosts of This American Life and such are so...smug is the word that comes to mind!
     But I'm an old guy, and NPR desperately needs to attract, you know, more millennials, the generation that doesn't buy houses or cars but loves Uber. Another NPR show--Here and Now---interviewed some freelancer who edits The New York Observer but lives in Austin (a fact for commentary at another time). And he loves Uber and hates Austin for laying down strict rules, like background checks performed by the city instead of by Uber. I recommend listening to the interview if you support Uber's freestyle business model. If you don't, save your blood pressure and read a book.
     Here and Now started in New England in 1998 as a regional Public radio Show, then went daily on the network.

   A millennial friend of mine will complain when I am listening to commercial radio on the car radio and commercials come on. "But that's how they pay their bills" I tried to explain. "I don't care. I hate it!", he replied. And there is the new-world digital approach to media. They want it commercial free, with the bills being paid by...whatever. 

    The folks at PEW issued their newest State of The News Media last week.....More info than you'll be able to take in during one sitting. Bookmark it and go back for more later.

The 2016 "State of The News Media" from PEW


Friday News Dump. It's a decades old tradition...announce bad news on a Friday...better yet a holiday weekend Friday...because it will get much less attention. TGFTWP working weekends. HERE is their story showing the inner workings of the discredited  Rolling Stone campus rape story. I hope it is being taught in what remains of J-Schools.

Happy 4th of July!

[The Monday Morning Media Memo is a regular feature of www.timlennox.com.]

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