NPR’s Mohn bolsters Morning Edition promotion challenge with prize

LAS VEGAS — Addressing station executives here Wednesday, NPR CEO Jarl Mohn offered a free year of Morning Edition as the grand prize for the winner of his “Spark Project,” a campaign to boost the newsmagazine’s audience. Mohn delivered a keynote speech at the annual Public Radio Super-Regional Meeting, held this year at Caesar’s Palace. In his speech, he called on the crowd of mostly general managers and station executives to move out of their comfort zones and unite in a push to cross-promote Morning Edition. The CEO is asking public radio stations to air 100 promotions a week from Jan. 14 to June 15, 2015, highlighting local and national stories airing within the newsmagazine.

BBC crafts module to take advantage of NPR clock changes

Responding to an opening created by changes to the clock for NPR’s Morning Edition, the BBC is rolling out a 90-second news module for insertion into a bottom-of-the-hour segment designated for local news coverage. The BBC’s Topline will curate top international news stories selected to compliment Morning Edition’s coverage. Stations that subscribe to the BBC World Service through American Public Media can pick it up at no additional cost, but the window for airing it is limited to the newly created 8:31:30 a.m. (Eastern time) break in Morning Edition. Stations are also prohibited from editing it. In a Q&A about the offering, the BBC said its editors will monitor Morning Edition to ensure that the stories featured on Topline don’t overlap with those covered by NPR.

PRPD, Day Two: NPR, stations prepare for debut of revised newsmag clocks

PORTLAND, Ore. — This week’s Public Radio Programming Conference is giving attendees a chance to prepare for Nov. 17, the day when new clocks for NPR’s newsmagazines take effect and both stations and the network’s news staffers will need to adjust to the revised formatting. Wednesday’s proceedings featured two opportunities for discussion. At the first, NPR representatives fielded questions from station programmers, with Chris Turpin, acting senior v.p. of news, laying out changes in store.

PRPD, Day One: In keynote, Mohn issues promotion challenge

PORTLAND, Ore. — Addressing the nearly 500 attendees of the Public Radio Program Directors conference, NPR CEO Jarl Mohn reassured attendees Tuesday that he would renew the network’s focus on radio programming and challenged them to take part in a systemwide experiment to boost listening to NPR’s newsmagazines. “If we don’t get the radio part right, if we don’t get the terrestrial part right, if we don’t get broadcasting right, the rest of it isn’t going to make a difference,” Mohn told the crowd. “So you’re going to see from us, and from me, a renewed focus on the broadcasting side of the business.” Closing the conference’s first day, Mohn used his keynote speech to give thumbnail grades of public radio’s performance in areas including news, promotion, programming and positioning.

What to do about public radio’s ratings slide?

Now that Arbitron’s new ratings methodology is providing consistent and crunchable year-to-year data on radio listening, public radio programmers and producers are getting a clearer picture of listening trends — and it’s not a cheerful one. Cume and average–quarter-hour audience for NPR News stations has been falling for a year, according to NPR data. AQH began falling in 2008, after stations in the top 48 markets began the switch from diary to Portable People Meter ratings. Weekly cumes remained relatively consistent through spring 2011, then began a sharp decline. The slides have been driven in part by a fall-off in drivetime listening.