NPR is rolling the dice with their latest executive hiring. The company is Will Lee, who has no prior radio experience, to be their new Chief Operating Officer, per Inside Radio.
“Will is a creative and successful digital media leader who has spent his career transforming legacy media brands by expanding and growing audience engagement and revenue,” NPR CEO John Lansing said.
“He understands that to serve NPR’s critical public service mission; we must meet audiences where they are — on the radio and on other on-demand platforms and devices. Will is also keenly aware of the unique competitive advantages of NPR, most notably the scale and strength of our 252 member stations.”
Lee most recently worked at Meredith, serving as the SVP and Head of Digital for its Entertainment Group. Following a nationwide search, the hiring fills a long-vacant role at the public radio network. NPR has not had a COO since 2018.
“NPR is a media force and a news institution like no other in the world. Its journalistic mission is more essential and critical to the American public than ever before,” Lee said.
“I’m truly honored to join this incredible team and work closely with NPR’s remarkable network of Member stations to ignite and drive continued growth, transformation, and brand momentum to reach new and more diverse audiences everywhere they encounter NPR.”
Michael Berry: People Are Sick of Having Stories ‘Crammed Down Their Throats’
“I think people get tired of the media saying, ‘Oh, this is the top story. Let’s just cram this down their throat until they vomit back on us and they just can’t stand it any longer.”
Syndicated radio host Michael Berry has shared his thoughts that the average American is sick of having certain stories pushed day after day.
During The Michael Berry Show Monday, the Houston-based host argued that people had turned against University of Colorado football coach Deion Sanders not because of his action or his team’s loss this weekend, but rather because they’re simply tired of hearing about him.
“I think people get tired of the media saying, ‘Oh, this is the top story. Let’s just cram this down their throat until they vomit back on us and they just can’t stand it any longer,” Berry said.
He continued by noting that he’s concerned a similar situation will take place with viral “Rich Men North of Richmond” singer Oliver Anthony.
“The media couldn’t decide ‘Do we hate this guy? Or do we ride this wave?’ But once they decided ‘We’re going to ride this wave, it became all Oliver Anthony, all day long’. And my fear for him, and for a movement he had begun, is that it’s burning too bright. It’s going to burn out. You can’t — overnight — go that hot and sustain it because too many things are coming at you too fast.”
Podcast Radio Format Hits Four Beasley Media Group Markets
“Caroline, the team, and Beasley’s great station brands will make fantastic first movers into the Podcast Radio format as they embrace this unique new radio content as a leader in both broadcast and digital.”
Beasley Media Group has partnered with Podcast Radio and KMG Networks to bring a podcast-centered format to four separate U.S. markets.
The new format — which has seen success in the United Kingdom — will be heard on Beasley-owned stations in Charlotte (WSOC-HD3), Detroit (WCSX-HD2), Ft. Myers/Naples (WXKB-HD2), and Tampa (WJBR-AM).
The Podcast Radio format features live “podjocks” and will utilize podcast portions like songs, airing short clips of shows before pushing listeners to listen to the whole podcast on their favorite platform. Gene “Bean” Baxter of Kevin & Bean is the first unveiled “podjock”. The network has already inked deals with TedAudio and Wondery.
The move marks Beasley’s first attempt into the format.
“Caroline, the team, and Beasley’s great station brands will make fantastic first movers into the Podcast Radio format as they embrace this unique new radio content as a leader in both broadcast and digital,” Podcast Radio CEO Gerry Edwards said.
“This concept has been highly successful for Gerry and his team in the United Kingdom, and we believe our audience will fall in love with the Podcast Radio U.S. version we present on our stations,” added Beasley Media Group Chief Content Officer Justin Chase.
Each station will have its own unique branding, utilizing the Podcast Radio name and the location of the station.
“When we evaluated the business opportunity in America, it was their forward-looking team that shared our vision immediately and stepped up to work collaboratively to execute this across key regions within the Beasley Media Group platform,” KMG Networks Founder & CEO Gary Krantz said.
Bill Handel: Everything Rupert Murdoch Touched Turned to Gold
“Rupert Murdoch is truly one of the most influential people that are out there in the world of media, in the world of what we see, and in the world of what we hear.”
Seemingly every news media professional has an opinion on the decision of Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch to step aside and allow his son, Lachlan, to take control. That list includes KFI-AM 640 morning host Bill Handel.
During his morning show Friday, Handel reacted to the news of Murdoch’s departure, noting the massive amounts of success the billionaire had.
“This is an organization that he built, which is second to none, that now owns The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post. He has for decades had unbelievable influence in the Republican Party, and his decision to step down as chairman now that sent all kinds of shock with shockwaves through the political world, especially the Republican world, just as the presidential rates heats up,” Handel said.
He continued by noting that while Fox News turned into a “shill” under Murdoch’s watch, the success is undeniable.
“He is one of the most interesting characters in the world of broadcast. I got to tell you that everything this guy touches turns to gold. He anticipated everything– except for a couple of big, big mistakes that didn’t hurt his billionaire status very much. Rupert Murdoch is truly one of the most influential people that are out there in the world of media, in the world of what we see, and in the world of what we hear.”