How “Marketplace” became a business news behemoth on the radio
James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times writes Saturday about “Marketplace,” the radio show that explains business and economic news to the masses in a way that’s entertaining.
Rainey writes, “‘Marketplace’ (which airs locally at 3 and 6:30 p.m. weekdays on KPCC-FM [89.3] and at 2 p.m. on KCRW-FM [89.9]) has grown into a behemoth and spawned several spinoffs because it does more than merely ‘the numbers.’ The half-hour show specializes in finding the owners who’ve lost homes in the mortgage crisis, commiserating with the growing legion of unemployed and, this week for example, personalizing the retirement of Apple’s Steve Jobs with a first-person account from a former co-worker.
“The cumulative weekly audience for the half-hour ‘Marketplace’ and its related programs, like Marketplace Money and the Marketplace Tech Report, has grown to a combined total of 9.3 million per week. That’s compared with 5.3 million a week in 2001, shortly after the franchise was bought by the Minnesota-based public radio power that is now called American Public Media.
“More than 500 public radio stations carry the shows. That includes ‘Marketplace Money’ on the weekend and ‘Morning Report,’ updates that public radio stations tend to sprinkle into weekday breaks in National Public Radio‘s ‘Morning Edition.’
“‘Marketplace’ has survived for more than two decades. But before it came along, tweedy public radio hadn’t embraced business programming. Then a journalist named JJ Yore, who had covered public media, moved West from Washington, D.C., to launch ‘Marketplace,’ which began with only three other full-time employees. Yore just wanted to tell good stories and to send a message by basing the program far outside the financial industry’s cozy home base.”
Read more here.