About Public Radio Remix
What is Public Radio Remix?
Remix sounds like the best of public radio on shuffle. Remix is a new format for public radio that presents curated, smart, creative spoken-word programs, amazing podcasts, cool ideas, fascinating interviews, found tape and intriguing sounds.
There is no traditional host, per se, although you’ll hear clever and smart interstitials and program announcements.
Listeners are surprised at how well excellent storytelling flows from one piece to the next. Most pieces are relatively short — 4 to 8 minutes – and then it is on to the next one. This fast-paced service is designed for stations and streaming.
How do I listen?
- Public Radio Remix broadcasts on the following stations:
- WGBH 89.7 FM, Boston, Mass. (12-5 a.m. Sun.-Thu.)
- WBUR 90.9 FM, Boston, Mass. (1-3 a.m. Mon.-Fri., 12-3 a.m. Sat., 3-5 a.m. Sun., streaming 24/7 online)
- KUT 90.5FM, Austin, TX. (11 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 1-3 a.m. Mon.)
- WFAE 90.7, Charlotte, NC.
- WVXU HD 91.7, Cincinnati, OH.
- NIPR HD 89.1 (WBOI), Northeast, IN.
- WOUB 1340 AM, Athens, Ohio (6-9 a.m. Mon.-Fri.)
- KUOW HD-2, Seattle, Wash. (Mon.–Fri. midnight–4 a.m. and Sat.-Sun. midnight-7 a.m.)
- KPBZ 90.3 FM, Spokane Public Radio, Wash. (24/7)
- WREM 88.7 FM, North Country Public Radio, Canton, N.Y. (24/7)
- Northeast Indiana Public Radio 89.1-HD3, Fort Wayne, Ind. (24/7)
- KALW 91.7 FM, San Francisco, Calif. (Overnights Saturday)
- WFPL 89.3 FM Louisville Public Radio, Ky. (Sunday Nights)
- KLCC HD, Eugene, Ore. (24/7)
- WRVO-REMIX (WRVO-2) HD, Oswego, N.Y. (24/7)
- Streaming 24/7 on XM channel 123
- Listen on the Public Radio Player iPhone app
- Tune in with iTunes > Radio > News/Talk
- Press play on the yellow player above, and embed it anywhere
- Stream it however you like! http://184.108.40.206/remixxm/prxremix.php
How do stations use Remix?
In three ways:
• A free stream. Just add the Remix player to a station web site and away you go.
• As an HD service. A number of stations see Remix as a way to bring a truly distinctive public radio service to HD rather than repeating familiar public radio shows or programming second-tier network content.
• As a primary terrestrial broadcast service. Stations are buying up new, full power frequencies and Remix is a fantastic option to redefine a local public radio brand. And, because Remix is automated and is a streaming program service, listeners get hooked and stick with the stories. PRX has anecdotal evidence that listeners retain stories and details to a remarkable degree.
How does Remix get made?
PRX has hired talented producer Roman Mars (his radio pedigree includes the Third Coast Festival’s Re:sound show, KALW in San Francisco and the hit series Snap Judgment plus his acclaimed podcast 99% Invisible) who curates, organizes and solicits the mix of audio and produced works on Remix.
PRX has helped develop software that randomly shuffles the order of programs in a series of playlists. Over the course of most hours listeners hear fresh combinations of programs and pieces (we try to insure that no three pieces will be adjacent in any six hour period) in a true Remix. Newer content –about 10 hours a week — in the playlists get a more frequent play as older programs and pieces cycle out.
Tell me more about the content.
Most of the content is licensed from PRX.org. You can get an idea of what Remix selects here: http://www.prx.org/accounts/98822-remix/purchased
Remix features pieces by top producers including The Kitchen Sisters and Jay Allison, plus many new, creative voices such as Nate DeMeo’s The Memory Palace and Blank on Blank. Remix also reaches out to podcasters: The Guardian (UK), Poptech and others.
PRX also takes careful steps to ensure pieces are cleared for broadcast. We have a small team that listens to every piece before it is even considered by Roman for possible inclusion in the Remix service. We track every screened piece and identify any programs that have language or taste issues.
How does Remix work for broadcast?
Remix works great for broadcast but keep in mind this is a new format in its earliest stage.
Remix does run in hourly blocs with a one-minute break at the top of each hour.
We’re looking at ways to incorporate more floating breaks within each hour to increase the opportunities for stations to incorporate underwriting and local announcements.
Remix is not designed to be aired as a one-hour ‘show.’ We recommend a minimum 3-hour play to capture the sense of the mix in Remix.
What about music reporting?
Because most of the content for Remix is licensed through PRX, we keep track of music usage there for quarterly reporting to Sound Exchange. Most of that same information is available for your broadcast reporting to ASCAP/BMI.
How does Remix get delivered?
PRX delivers the Remix service by FTP and we can work with station technical staff about integrating Remix into your automation system. For some stations we have arranged a multiple-day buffer to insure that if the FTP delivery is interrupted for any reason (bad local ISP, etc) Remix itself won’t be interrupted and we all have enough time to work through fixes. You’ll probably want a dedicated server and a reliable ISP to ensure the flow of Remix works smoothly.
Where do the stories come from?
Remix draws a lot of content from PRX.org, the largest open archive of public radio programs for broadcast. We find a lot of smart, ear-opening, creative stories there including the hugely popular stories from The Moth.
We also are rapid about discovering podcasts and other sources of sound that make us go ‘wow…’
Last year we pumped more than 1,000 stories and pieces into the Remix mix.
Do you know of some amazing new voices and styles? Let us know!
What do audiences think?
We’re at the earliest stages of this format but the anecdotal feedback is really heartening. Please feel free to reach out to Spokane Public Radio and NCPR above. We hear listeners say things like ‘This is the reason I pay for XM…” to positive responses from both older, classical music listeners to younger public radio fans thrilled to find a fresh format on the air.
Remix sounds great. Who do I contact?
Roman Mars is the host, producer and program director of Public Radio Remix from PRX. He is also the host and producer of KALW’s 99% Invisible, a short radio show about design and architecture. The 99% Invisible podcast recently reached #2 in the iTunes rankings for all podcasts, as well as #1 in both the Arts and Design categories. His reported and documentary work has most recently aired on Snap Judgment, Morning Edition, Weekend America, KALW’s Crosscurrents and WBEZ’s Re:sound. Before going rogue, Mars spent over three years at WBEZ’s Third Coast International Audio Festival as the project senior producer and sound designer, developing their weekly documentary radio program and producing the TCF national broadcast specials for Public Radio International. Mars started his radio career at KALW in San Francisco and was best known as host and executive producer of Invisible Ink, an independent literary audio zine. The show received numerous recognitions from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and was named “Best of the Bay” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. His work has been presented at the Peabody Award winning Transom.org and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Hear more at romanmars.com
Remix July 2011 Sampler
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