Steve Post, legendary New York radio personality for more than 50 years, died Sunday. He was 70 years old. Steve was the acerbic host of Morning Music, heard on WNYC-FM for 25 years. Every morning Steve read his version of the news. When Mayor Ed Koch had a stroke, his doctors announced that he had “the brain of a 12-year-old.” Ever after Steve referred to His Honor as “him with the 12-year-old brain.”
Weather reports were called “the weather lies.” Steve delivered news of leaks from nuclear reactors, always ending with the line, “No significant amount of radiation was released,” whether in the wire copy or not, read absolutely straight with an incredulous voice.
New York's WNYC-FM has received a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a new reporting unit focused on health issues. The unit will cover healthy living and wellness, the policy and economics of health care, and medical science and discovery. WNYC will use the grant to hire reporters, producers, editors and audience-development specialists. Content created by the unit will be featured on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show and the station's local editions of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The reporting will also be featured nationally on WNYC and Public Radio International's The Takeaway and on American Public Media's Marketplace.
In an effort to position itself as a national brand in public radio, New York’s WNYC is launching an ad campaign likening its programs’ listeners to Netflix-style binge watchers. The Smartbinge campaign will consist of targeted digital ad buys and a landing page on WNYC.org to encourage listeners from around the country to listen to substantial amounts of WNYC programming. Other elements include Twitter hashtags, geotargeted Facebook ads, paid search results and sponsored blog posts. WNYC is spending around $200,000 on the campaign, working with creative and public-relations teams Cataldi Public Relations and Eyeballs. As WNYC increases digital offerings with streams and a mobile app, it has its sights set on an audience beyond New York.
• PBS has promoted two of its programming execs. Michael Kelley, formerly v.p. of strategy and business affairs, ascends to s.v.p., programming and business affairs. In addition, Bill Gardner, formerly director of general audience programming, is now v.p. of programming and development, overseeing science, history, natural history, cultural and current events programming. Both joined PBS in 2012. “Mike’s strong business skills and strategic leadership coupled with Bill’s acute editorial judgment and significant development chops have been instrumental to the success of PBS, our producers and member stations nationwide," Beth Hoppe, PBS chief programming executive, said in a statement.
New York Public Radio’s WNYC recently beefed up its mobile app with a personalization feature allowing users to generate playlists of news content that can be downloaded for listening on the subway or places where their phones go offline. The “Discover” feature of the WNYC mobile app lets listeners curate stories about topics that interest them — such as technology, pop culture or movies — into playlists of lengths ranging from 20 minutes to three hours long. The app pulls both local and national news stories, downloading batches of segments for later listening. The feature was designed to target the city’s subway riders, said Thomas Hjelm, chief digital officer at New York Public Radio. “It started with the thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app you could use for a 30-minute subway trip?'”, he said.
• WNYC/New York Public Radio is receiving the largest grant ever given to a public radio station, it announced today. The pubcaster will use the $10 million from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation for digital innovation and to support its Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, keeping ticket prices low for events there. Also today, the station introduced a new Discover feature to its WNYC app, allowing listeners to create and download curated playlists with a function that "blends personal preferences with an element of surprise," it said in the announcement. • POV's new online documentary collaboration with the New York Times kicked off over the weekend with an in-depth look at a group of developmentally challenged men who survived decades of neglect in a small Iowa town. The Men of Atalissa, produced by the Times, was posted on both websites March 8.