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NPR Joins Spotify’s Audience Network

“NPR’s audience appreciates the brands who support NPR and part of that loyalty comes from the custom creative style that runs within NPR programming.”

Maddy Troy

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Earlier this month at Spotify’s annual Stream On event, NPR announced that it will be joining the Spotify Audience Network. The alliance will change the way ads are sold and expand the list of ad categories available, although NPR executives say it will not change how the ads sound to listeners. 

“An important aspect of our relationship with Spotify is that we will continue to produce sponsor messages in the voice and tone of NPR,” said Gina Garrubbo, President of National Public Media, NPR’s sponsorship subsidiary. “NPR’s audience appreciates the brands who support NPR and part of that loyalty comes from the custom creative style that runs within NPR programming,” she said during last week’s Podcast Movement conference.

This deal comes as NPR struggles with the current state of the ad market, in contrast, Spotify’s ad network has grown eightfold in the last two years. NPR’s CEO John Lansing said in an interview in February that they are currently facing a revenue shortfall of about $30 million, adding the number could reach as high as $32 million this year, without any indication of a turn-a-round.

Because of the economic conditions, NPR is taking steps to cut its expenses by soon cutting up to 10% of employees, according to Podcast News Daily.

Garrubbo says working with Spotify will allow NPR to make up for its direct sales while tapping into a wider set of advertising categories for potential sponsorships, including travel, consumer packaged goods, and retail.

As part of the new deal, NPR is transferring its hosting to Megaphone. This will give the company access to Spotify-owned attribution companies Podsights and Chartable used by advertisers. “Attribution is critical,” Garrubbo said. “We were one of the first publishers to use Podsights and it’s been a fantastic tool for brands and agencies who want to understand their audio spend.”

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News Audio

Longtime WFLA Host Jack Harris Says He’s Been Fired

“I didn’t think I was that big of a burden on them. I was making a seventh of what I made three or four years ago.”

Barrett News Media

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Longtime Tampa radio host Jack Harris claims he has been fired by NewsRadio 970 WFLA.

“After I signed off from my show at 7:00 AM today, iHeartRadio bosses told me that they were cutting back on expenses and had to let me go,” Harris told The Tampa Bay Times. “I didn’t think I was that big of a burden on them. I was making a seventh of what I made three or four years ago.”

The 81-year-old Harris had been with the station in several tenures since 1970 but had hosted on the station for the last 29 years, most recently on weekdays from 5:00-7:00 AM as host of AM Tampa Bay.

When reached by Barrett News Media for comment, WFLA Program Director John Mamola declined the opportunity to speak on the subject.

Harris — who was insistent that he was not playing a practical joke on listeners with April Fool’s around the corner — shared he was saddened he didn’t get the opportunity to have a farewell show and thank listeners for their years together. “They are what I will miss most.

When asked what his next step will be, Harris was unsure.

“I might look for part time work on the radio somewhere,” the longtime host said. “Or maybe I will retire. I am an old geezer after all.”

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Joe Rogan: Media Leaves Out ‘What It Doesn’t Want Front and Center’

“All it is, is like ‘January 6th. January 6th. Did you see what they did? — Trump is coming back’.”

Barrett News Media

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Podcast host Joe Rogan has grown weary of the news media’s coverage of certain events and shared his belief that it only cares about presenting one side of arguments.

During The Joe Rogan Experience, the eponymous host shared his displeasure with the way current events are reported on.

“The media has lost its hold over the narrative,” said Rogan. “Now, the media conveniently leaves out anything that it doesn’t want to be at the front and center — in terms of things that people concentrate on and talk about.”

He then discussed stories he believes the general public has an interest in, but aren’t being covered, pointing to large protests in France over potential reforms in social security and also protests in Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans for changes to the nation’s judicial system.

“And you’re not hearing a f***ing peep about it, you know?” Rogan said. “All it is is ‘January 6th. January 6th. Did you see what they did? — Trump is coming back, but January 6th looms large.’”

“How about the fact that the guy who’s the president right now can’t form a f***ing sentence? He makes up words and stumbles through things and no one says a god damn thing about it,” Rogan concluded.

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Kara Swisher on New York Times Exit: ‘I Wanted to Make What I Wanted to Make’

“I didn’t wanna ask 86 people. They’re all really smart. They just aren’t me.”

Barrett News Media

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Podcast host Kara Swisher exited The New York Times in June of last year to launch her new podcast On with Kara Swisher, in conjunction with Vox Media.

In a wide-ranging feature story with Vanity Fair, Swisher claims she simply grew restless with the bureaucracy of the Times.

“I just wanted to make what I wanted to make, and I didn’t wanna ask 86 people,” Swisher said. “They’re all really smart. They just aren’t me.”

According to the story from Vanity Fair, six staffers exited in a year or less after working on Swisher’s show with the Times, with one former employee saying “It was totally known across the Opinion audio department that this was a nightmare show to work for.”

Swisher defended herself by arguing that she wasn’t a manager of the show, simply the host, but added that she could understand that the pace she wanted to work at might not correlate with others.

“When something happens, I want to do it right away…they just didn’t wanna move that way. I totally get it, I completely respect it, but I just didn’t want to do the slower show. I wanted to do the fast-burn show. And so it was a real struggle.”

The podcast countered, however, by stating that she believed the Times failed “to hire the right people in the first place”.

“I didn’t hire them. I didn’t fire them. I didn’t do their reviews or anything like that. I wasn’t involved in anybody’s review, unfortunately,” Swisher said.

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