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Radio Survivor Inaugurates Podcast

Broadcast and Internet radio news site looking to reach new audiences

In this edited Q&A with Radio Survivor’s Paul Riismandel, Radio World learns more about their newly launched podcast. This has been excerpted from a longer version that will appear in an upcoming issue of Radio World.

Radio World: What motivated you to dive into the world of podcasting?
Paul Riismandel: One of the great things about podcasting is that it lets you reach people in places and at times when they can’t be reading a website … A podcast provides an opportunity to reach new audiences who may not encounter our website but who can find our show on iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud, or learn about it by word-of-mouth.

RW: Can you tell readers about the content of your episodes?
Riismandel: On each episode, we will review some important radio stories from the week, and Jennifer [Waits] will give an overview of news from the world of college radio. There will also be a feature, which may be an interview, a look at a particular station or program, or a deep-dive into a particularly vital issue. We’ll always wrap up with a short commentary from Radio Survivor co-founder Matthew Lasar.

RW: Who is your target audience?
Riismandel: Our website audience is made up of people who love radio, whether they are producers or listeners. We construe radio broadly, so this includes Internet radio and podcasting as much as broadcast. We tend to highlight community and college radio.

I hope that the podcast broadens our audience. In particular, I’d like to see us reach people — especially younger listeners — who have been attracted to radio by the surge in attention to podcasting.

RW: What type of technology are you using to produce the podcast? Do your radio backgrounds influence these choices?
Riismandel: For the main part of the show, my co-host Eric and I record in my home office in Portland, Ore., using two studio condenser microphones and a small Behringer mixer I’ve been moving around for about a dozen years. I digitize this using a PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL USB audio interface directly into my MacBook Pro using Adobe Audition for both recording and editing. To bring in some guests, we’ve been using a nifty new smartphone app called Ringr which effectively does a “double ended” interview recording.

RW: Can your listeners stream episodes, or do they have to be downloaded?
Riismandel: Episodes are available to stream via SoundCloud or for download, to give the listener maximum flexibility. I like the SoundCloud player because it is easy to share and embed, similar to the YouTube player.

RW: How will you determine if your podcast is a success? Are there specific metrics that you will use?
Riismandel: One important metric is feedback and engagement … We hear from the community all the time via social media and email. I hope that the podcast is another platform that encourages interaction … If the Radio Survivor community grows and becomes more interactive over time, then that is an indicator of success.

Obviously, I’ll be paying attention to download and listening statistics. I’m realistic in my expectations because I know we’re covering a niche subject, and there are a lot of podcasts out there, so discoverability is always a challenge.

RW: Anything else you think RW readers would be interested to know?
Riismandel: As we get some more episodes under our belt, I’d be interested in creating a version suitable for noncommercial stations to broadcast. However, since the show originates as a podcast, right now we’re not adhering to a strict clock. So preparing the show for broadcast will require a little more work each week. But if there are stations interested in airing the show, and even helping us with the editing, then we can make it happen.