In his latest blog post, public radio consultant John Sutton weighs in on the discussion about the future of Car Talk. The lack of innovative programming in public radio, he argues, is due not to risk-averse program directors but to a lack of focus on making new shows that succeed on local stations.
New shows “often have the mission piece down, but most new programs are sorely lacking when it comes to audience performance and fundraising support,” Sutton writes. Producers should follow Ira Glass’s example, Sutton says, and incubate their shows at stations before taking them to the national level.
“There’s a big difference between putting together an hour of good audio content and making a great radio program,” he writes. “It is something that is learned, not taught.”