WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Shop Talk - June 26

Jun 26, 2012

The panelists follow up on last week's discussion about the future of newspapers by talking about the future of public radio.

Minnesota Public Radio journalist Bob Collins questioned in a blog whether public radio is still willing to take risks. He wondered if a program such as A Prairie Home Companion would be given a chance if it were introduced today.

Collins wrote, “You can do a lot of creative things when nobody listens to your radio station because there's little downside to taking risk. But not anymore. Public radio has never been more popular and taking a risk has never been more dangerous.”

Radiolab is an example of an innovative program on public radio. But its season is short -- new episodes are not produced year-round. This American Life is innovative but it's been around for almost 20 years.

Like Collins, the Shop Talk panelists wonder if public radio has gotten too comfortable with its programming and too big to take a chance with shows that might require some time to find an audience.