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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.

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August 2011

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Comments

Abby

Thank you, Paul. When I read Eric's blog this week, my eyeballs fell out and rolled accross the floor. Can our industry be so blind to the fact that for pubcasters, listeners matter? We think of our listeners as people, not a comodity or a means to better performance on Wall St. So glad you get it.

Linda Yohn

Paul, Thank you for taking the time to describe the relationship that public radio hosts/managers have with listeners. It is a communicative chemistry far different from the commercial model. There is much that commercial radio could learn from the listening skills that pubcasters typify. As many of us move in to spring fund raising, we take heart when we read what you took the time to write.

Dick Kernen

Paul; It is beyond belief that anyone could think?..if that's the right word...that commercial radio will EVER do the programming
that we've come to love on NPR. Rhodes is SO
wrong, I'm stunned that he could arrive at his
take on this. Thanks for responding to him.
DicKernen

Ellen Rocco

Hey, Paul, from the public side of things, thanks for this article. I've re-posted it to a blog on the North Country Public Radio website (www.ncpr.org/all-in). Let's remember that what matters right now is the work we do as broadcasters.

Again, thanks. Ellen Rocco

LoyaltyMarket

As someone who works with around 140 public broadcasting stations, I agree 100% with your article.
Having a loyal audience is what any company strives for if they are in the business for the long haul.
Public Broadcasting Stations have gone about gaining this fanbase by delivering a quality product, and engaging when possible in each local community they serve.

Fanning the flames to promote the failure of any service that people rely on, and respect is only going to diminish their own credibility...

Scott Hanley

Well said, or should I say, well writ. I always liked radio. It's important for all of us (commercial, public, web, etc) to remember that it's a big world out there.

Being a "broadcaster" should mean something special - no matter what your license or ownership model says, there is an obligation to entertain, but also to serve. Your listeners are counting on you.

Live like there is a tomorrow.

Michael Marcotte

Spot on, Mr Jacobs!

You don't have to wade into the federal funding issue to simply note the success that NPR stations have earned through hard work and attention to audience needs.

It's a tough road ahead and federal funding is advised for those who look at this not from a commercial standpoint but from a civil society standpoint. (See Knight Commission on Information Needs of Communities.)

May I commend to you my take on why NPR is worth saving? http://www.mikemarcotte.com/2011/03/public-medias-only-hope.html

Tripp Eldredge, dmr

Your point about "share of mind" frames this discussion well. Thanks for the perspective.

Paul & Fred

Thanks to all for the wonderful comments - as well as the scores of people who contacted us outside the blog. There's an incredible amount of passion out there amidst all the gloom & doom. Keep up the fight.

Jim Farley

Paul, I think agree. In the mid 90's when I got to Washington, WAMU's rating (public radio) were higher than WTOP's (commercial all-news). I volunteered for Pledge Week at WAMU and discovered their listeners are fiercly loyal. It's a cause for them, not just radio.
Today WTOP's ratings are higher, but not because we took away public radio listeners. We added different folks. I once thought we could woo them, but no longer think so.

Paul Jacobs

Jim, really insighful comments about his post. It was our most-read post ever and generated a ton of comments and emails, but none from commercial radio that had this perspective, which is valuable, given the fact that WTOP is one of the leading News stations in America.

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