This sort of makes it official that the industry its abandoning its brand as the leading provider of radio programming. The industry's marketing mindset is that we are not radio anymore. It will be interesting to see what effect that has on radio audiences over time.
Most of the people here are in radio jobs at their public media outlets. The new conference name does raise the question, "why do we need separate public TV and public radio conferences anymore since we're all in public media now?"
Attendance is up 22% over last year and the state of the economy seems to be less of a concern among the folks I've met so far. It seems most public media outlets here had good Winter and Spring fundraising seasons.
NPR's new CFO hire has generated a little buzz given her commercial radio background. Having come from commercial radio, albeit a different era, I think it could be a good thing.
It raises some really interesting and valid questions about the spending side of the industry's business model. Commercial broadcasters, of course, try to minimize the cost of content creation. It will be interesting to see if and how that value is applied at NPR.
Here's one way to think about the difference between the commercial radio spending model and the public radio -- excuse me -- public media spending model:
In public media we have 5 hosts for 2 programs. In commercial radio they have 2 hosts for 5 programs.
Steve Inskeep voicetracking All Things Considered before he leaves each day? Nah....