Oct 6, 2010

Freakonomics Radio crunches homerun stats for its 'Marketplace' debut

Freakonomics Radio, a new co-production featuring journalist and Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner, unveiled its biweekly segment for Marketplace yesterday. The topic for the lead story? Major League Baseball. Specifically: whether the crackdown on steroid use is to blame for the decline in the number of home runs being hit.

During an appearance at the Public Radio Program Directors conference in Denver last month, Dubner said the show came into being after he told WNYC senior producer Collin Campbell that, as much as he enjoyed appearing on the station's PRI series The Takeaway, he couldn't deal with the early hours required for morning drive-time radio. "I said, 'I want to do a radio show,' and Collin came back with a show plan."

The Marketplace debut coincides with launch of biweekly podcasts, which take on "of the moment" topics and will scale up to weekly production in January, Dubner told PRPD attendees. Forthcoming radio specials will deal with "themes that are big enough to be dealt with in one hour," he said. "What we do is primarily story-telling based on a different way of looking at the world." Freakonomics Radio is a co-production of American Public Media and New York's WNYC.

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