Posted at 8:00 AM on December 18, 2007
by Jeff Horwich
That's the question we've gotten an awful lot lately. The second most-common one is "What can I do to help?" Truth is, there's no easy answer to either question.
What's happening with us is technically that the show is going on hiatus, with no immediate plan to resume weekly episodes. This is not a surprise; our weekly season was intended to be a test-run, with the future depending on our success and the ability to support the show financially.
We've done our part, and so has our growing and enthusiastic audience. When we're waking up Monday to blog posts like this one, something must be going right.
Now some decisions have to be made. And, let's face it: We've created a show that carries quite a bit more overhead than just one guy and a microphone.
So, if you like the show, what can you do? I'm in an awkward position to give advice. But there are a couple of first-cut things:
* Forward the show's homepage (www.mpr.org/intheloop) to some friends, or point them to the podcast. It's never too late to pick up new listeners! And we designed these shows to make for good listening no matter when you put your ears to them. Please note that said friends need not necessarily be in Minnesota ;-)
* Review the podcast on iTunes. We've got lots of listeners, but not necessarily the quantity of reviews to match. This is a great way to help influence folks around the world to check it out.
* Fill out our online feedback form, and make sure your friends do as well. We want to hear what you like, and what we can work on. We'll be collecting all the feedback to try to measure audience reaction to the fall season.
* If you're an MPR member (and of course you all are, right? :-) MPR is always interested in what you have to say. MPR also has a general contact form you can also use to give feedback that goes straight to our Membership department. (You don't have to be a member to use this form, of course.)
Beyond those simple points, I'll have to leave it to your boundless creativity. Rest assured, we're feeling the good vibes from you all toward the show, and I'll go into the holidays feeling blessed for all your support.
Hey, I just finished listening to the Streaming audio of the last show of the season. I am sad that you guys do not know yet when you will be back. I keep wondering what you guys have to do to get supported for another season. You have sell out shows, tons of fans, and have created a major buzz. Would you care to tell us how the budgeting process works in Public Radio? How are you supposed to raise money with a free show? Do you have to get more grants? Who is going to make the decision and what criteria are they looking at? I understand if these things are not usually disclosed.
Oh, what will all the great producers and host do as the show is in hiatus? I have heard Larissa Anderson's name attached to Midday and Mid Morning several times.
Have a great holiday, and I will keep listening.
Thanks, JonPaul. It's not proper for me to elucidate funding in public radio -- if only because "content" folks like me don't know that much about how that end of things works. I think it's safe to say every show is funded a little differently -- some combination of grants, membership dollars, corporate underwriting sponsorships, and money paid by other stations to carry it. And every programming decision is some combination of financial considerations and, of course, the desire of a company to produce it.
I can tell you more specifically about where our fine crew is going.
* Sanden Totten and I will still be technically working for the show, or at least for the Public Insight Journalism department that oversees it. I'm not exactly sure in what form you'll be hearing from us until the show's fate is decided.
* Larissa, whom you mentioned, will be returning to the newsroom to work as a producer on Midday.
* Julie Siple will return to the newsroom as an associate producer on Morning Edition.
* Our Senior Producer Mark Brull returns to his job as a production manager in charge of news promotions.
* Our Editor Jim Gates has returned to L.A., and his previous job as an editor for NPR's Day 2 Day.
* Leith Bishop, the former NPR executive producer who oversaw our entire team this fall, has returned to her home in Toronto (and to the husband who so graciously parted with her for our fall season).
So...yeah, it's a little lonely around here! But it's been a blast.
I'm fishing for people out there who want to see "In the Loop" continue. I've got a few clever ideas (and some pretty droll, but effective, ones), but I need a few other people to help me pull them off.
Contact me through my blog.
Whoops -- wrong link.
I've experienced a live taping of "In the Loop" when I visited in St Paul recently, and thoroughly enjoyed the show and the obvious professionalism that was involved with its production and presentation.
I'd like to be able to hear this show on the NPR station here in Tucson, Arizona. I'm quite sure that the program would be successful in this market.