June 7, 2022

How to Convert a Career in Media to Podcasting

Ever thought your skills were worth more?

If you have, you are not alone, and it happens to almost everyone at some point in our life that creates an inflection point where you make a change. Today on the podcast, we dive into Mathew’s story and background and how others in a media-related position could switch to podcasting to leverage those skills in an exciting new way.

·     Are Podcasts Getting Worse? (2:37)

·     Why a media background is perfect for podcasting (10:18)

·     What lessons did media teach you that prepared you for podcasting (15:53)

·     Finding the golden ideas that could be a launching platform to get started (22:42)

·     What made NPR a big success story for media that other outlets were not able to get as fast (26:15)

·     What are some of the best examples you have heard from others leaving their career in media (34:12)

Thanks for Listening!

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Speaker 2 (00:02)

Hello and welcome to Podcasting Anything and ask me anything for all things podcasting. I'm your host Ben CLOY, and I'm joined here in the studio with Mathew Passy, the podcast control. Matt and I wanted to move the conversation beyond the Podcasting 101 topics and move into the intermediate to advance podcasting strategy. To reach your goals, to interact with the show, submit your questions to be answered live, book a podcast audible with Matthew or find the notes from today's show. Head on over to Podcastminiething.com. Welcome back to another podcast, meaning I am, as always, joined by Matthew Passy here in the studio. Matthew, how are you doing today?

Speaker 1 (00:39)

I am doing well. How are you today?

Speaker 2 (00:42)

Well, I'm surviving our mini heatwave for May. We've had like 96 degrees yesterday with maximum humidity. So the universe is definitely teaching us that it is still in control because we've had really cold spring and then we're going to have really hot and then we're actually going to go back to normal 60 degrees for the rest of May. So we've had this hiccup in the middle of May. All the actual splash parts got accelerated to be opened up early from moral day. So summer is coming early here in Southern Wisconsin.

Speaker 1 (01:09)

Yeah, I don't envy that at all. Enjoy your heat wave. Keep it to yourselves.

Speaker 2 (01:15)

There was a post on Facebook that a dad in Milwaukee posted. He's like, I measure the quality of spring by how many weeks or days that I go without turning the air conditioning on between the heat and the air conditioning. And this was 48 hours. And he's like, that was just too short from going when we needed the heat on to when you wouldn't survive if you didn't have the air conditioning on.

Speaker 1 (01:36)

Yeah, that's good metric.

Speaker 2 (01:38)

Yeah. This one is flatlined and it really was just like, boom, you're not going to get any break. They have the windows open, but luckily, hopefully it holds and it goes back down because the rest of my should be windows wide open and no air conditioning.

Speaker 1 (01:49)

I got to be honest. I got one of those nest things for the house that control the air conditioning and the HVAC system. And so I don't have to think about when do I turn the heat off? When do I turn the heat on? It just basically said that if the temperature ever drops below here, heat kicks on. Temperature ever goes above here, the air kicks on.

Speaker 2 (02:07)

Beautiful. How do you start with the windows? What if you have a nice day out and the windows are open? Do you have to just mentally go in and pause it, close the windows.

Speaker 1 (02:15)

Or open the windows automatically?

Speaker 2 (02:18)

You might not know that the windows are open or it obviously doesn't know the windows are open unless there's a sensor on a window or something.

Speaker 1 (02:24)

You're right. So we just waste energy, which, by the way, I'm generating through solar anyway, so. Ha ha. I get to go ahead. Guilt free.

Speaker 2 (02:31)

Guilt free. I love it. Well, let's dive into our podcast news topic, and this one is essentially the opposite of our good news, essentially our podcast getting worse. And it was an article that came out on Rafonic about measuring the average podcast rating on Apple podcast, and that the peak of podcast quality was in 2016, according to the actual average ratings, and that since then, the quality has been steadily declining. Matthew, I know you have a mixed love hate relationship, mostly hate for podcast reviews. What did you feel about this?

Speaker 1 (03:05)

Here's the thing. I don't actually hate podcast reviews. What I hate is the insistence by podcasters that we have to beg listeners for ratings and reviews, and especially this false notion that ratings and reviews played into your rankings on the Apple Podcasting Store in particular, which as we've talked about in previous episodes and Apple has finally said it does not.


But that said, I've always said ratings.

Speaker 1 (03:32)

And reviews are helpful. They are social proof. People who are looking at two different podcasts, they see one that has three ratings, including your mom saying, oh, my son is such a good podcast, and then the one that has hundreds of ratings and reviews that are pretty honest and widespread. You tend to go with the one with more ratings and reviews because you realize, oh, there's actually people that are listening to it, since you don't really have a sense of who listens to podcasts. But what I found interesting about this number, and I guess it's not surprising to me. And I think for some folks, they might have read this and thought panic or they might have been concerned. Does that mean less people are interested in podcast? Me anything. We're just getting more honest. The one thing about the podcasting space, and it's a very nice part of the podcasting space. It is a very positive, encouraging, uplifting place to hang out. And so when you talk to other podcasters, when you go to podcasting conferences, when you ask your friends and family to listen to your content and give a rating and review, they're more likely than not going to give you five stars.

Speaker 1 (04:37)

There's no reason to be a jerk and give you a low rating and review, especially if it's people who are doing it simply to support you. And there have been plenty of Facebook groups and activities of podcasters who literally would just swap five star reviews. Right? I'll rate you. You rate me, right? We'll help everybody out. I think actually this is encouraging because what's happening is now more people are listening, more people are getting interested in the space. More people are asked to leave an honest review and an honest rating of the content that is out there. And so, yeah, not everybody is going to give a five star review. People are going to say four love the content. The mic sucks or it's going to be a three man. The host always sounds really good, but the guests sound terrible or it's going to be a two. What is this person doing? I don't understand. They say it's about X and the show is really about Y. Just wasted all my time and I'm sure we're getting more and more ones every day. This person sucks.


Can't believe I just wasted my life listening to this.

Speaker 1 (05:38)

Why do they have a podcast? I think it also happens because you have so many people who are right. We've seen the influx of new shows coming in, and that influx is coming from low quality barrier to entry platforms, not naming any names.


But you probably know who I am.

Speaker 1 (05:56)

Thinking of, where it is so easy for people to create a podcast that yes, more people are putting out terrible podcast content. And so I think that is what's playing into this. US have reaching the peak of podcast ratings because what did you say? It was like 4.9 in 2016 out of five?



Speaker 1 (06:18)

That is not a realistic average for podcast ratings. Out of 2 million shows, they cannot all be nearly five. It just doesn't work that way. So I think it's actually a good thing that we're starting to see this kind of come down to Earth a little bit and be more realistic and more honest and maybe weed out some of the podcasts that don't belong in the space.

Speaker 2 (06:40)

There was another interesting part of the article that talked about the size of the podcast, determining the amount of negative reviews. And so there's a couple of things that I think lead into that one where more people are listening to podcasts. So podcasting has always been kind of a niche, and podcasters are statistically more likely, I feel like, to do the right thing to hold door for people. They're just kind of a different kind of listener. But the more podcast becomes widespread, we almost get the YouTube effect where the people of the internet show up. That like, where has this person ever lived? Because I've never met someone who is ever going to say such a mean comment like that on YouTube. Where do these people exist? Those people are also coming into the podcast world as a podcast gets larger. And those ones that are over a half million downloads are ones that really are feeling the most heat from those podcasts or those podcast reviews because of that large swap. And they're all more known and they're often getting more media attention. So it's attracting different people, which is also kind of this early indicator that podcasting is being more mainstream.

Speaker 2 (07:44)

When you do get the people of the internet to show up that say rude things, that say things just because they like hurting people and hurt people, hurt people, and they enjoy doing it on YouTube, and now they found a place to do it on podcasting and they look forward almost in that way. So it kind of dilutes the idea of all these different things, but it also kind of gives the acceptance that like podcast me anything like other medias where it just attracts people to say what they want, like on Twitter, whether it's true or not, hurtful or kind like it's just a place that people can do that now.

Speaker 1 (08:14)

Yeah, I mean, I think you're absolutely right on that. And to your point, and I'm not going to point fingers or name names, but yes, traditionally the podcasting space tend to lean a certain direction and attract a certain type of host and was a place of typical content creators. And I think the folks who lean a different direction are starting to kind of understand the potential of the space, open up more types of content creators who may have favored traditional media but are seeing the potential and the possibilities over here. And yes, that might have attracted less pleasant types of consumers.

Speaker 2 (08:57)

No worries. This is kind of like more contrast, black and white when you go to podcast. Podcast is a really great community of podcasters that really care about what they do. They're very supportive, and I'm sure there is a podcaster, a podcast that will give you the shirt off his back if you felt like it was going to help you. Those types of podcasters are still out there. I think there's just other communities of podcasters that now can start and they can do whatever they need to with little regulation. And it just kind of maybe dilutes that initial feeling that most podcasters had. We're all kind of in part of the same kind of want to help people, but it's more of just kind of the reality of the landscape that we're dealing with, too.

Speaker 1 (09:34)

And listen, it's not just about independent podcasters, right? There are major corporations and major public entities that are doing more podcasting as well. If a brand gets into podcast me anything are people who oppose that brand for lots and lots of different, very viable reasons. Then they're going to rating, bomb a show and lower the ratings and have higher expectations. And that's not going to be very.

Speaker 2 (09:59)

Good for anyone like the podcasting DNS tech part of the world. So, like, when you want to crash someone's website, you organize a DNS attack to overload the system. Essentially, the podcasting reviews is essentially the easiest way to attack someone that you want to do is just Titanic those reviews. And there's not a review process for an Apple podcast, so it's pretty much stuck to the podcast forever. Let's go ahead and pivot to our deep dive, because today we're going to slightly dial it into a different content. We're not just going to deep dive into a strategy, an idea within podcasting of how to improve it. We're actually going to go into a little bit of Matthew's life into his past because I was inspired this week that Matthew actually has this unique story. I don't know if everybody fully appreciates and understands of how much they could also have this story in their life. So Mathew as a media professional sitting in radio seeing the world in a way from a view that most people do, most people just hear radio coming out of their car, you see the production of it, you see all these angles, you see the personality especially from the Wall Street Journal, you see these people writing editorials, you see these people having voices and that world is like the first thought as I was leading into this question was there's also this hierarchy that comes with it that there are the people that speak and then there's the people that manage those speakers that make all the audio sound good, they run the sound boards and I'm wondering the first question is if you were running a soundboard at a radio do you feel like that you actually

Speaker 2 (11:26)

could be the person on the other side or is that culture kind of reserved where like this is your side of the studio and that person is on the other side and you need to know your place? Is that like a mindset someone has if they're in that world?

Speaker 1 (11:38)

I don't think you can say that for everybody but certainly lots of folks who were working behind the board or working in the background were doing so because that was the way that they thought they were going to get to be on microphone and to be the top talent. Admittedly I took some of my early jobs in radio thinking that was exactly where I would go. I'd worked my way up from the ground to the top and that's the only way you can do it is to work the low salary, high expectation jobs and build up loyalty and all those different things. And truthfully I think the world has just changed dramatically in the time that I got out of College and to where we are today where now it seems like if you want to be talent you have to go out there and be talent right? You have to put out a podcast, start a YouTube channel, be on Twitter, write in media. There are still plenty of places where they elevate from within but I think a lot of folks are coming to the table with experience in the actual content creation aspect as well as a following and I think that's going to help them out more so than somebody who like me just operated the board and was pretty good at doing what I was told and going out there and working my butt off.

Speaker 1 (13:09)

So I think that's one piece but yeah I would say in film they call it above the line and below the line I think it's the expression that they use and yes most people below the line have a passion or a desire to be above the line talent. And most people above not most, but a fair number of people above the line assume that they could do the BelowTheLine jobs and they probably can't or they don't understand how hard it is, or they look down upon those people like their peers or whatever, not all of them, but certainly I'm sure anybody who's worked in radio, television, print journalism, magazines, any of those places, they've run into some sort of talent, right? Some sort of primetime, talented person who just looked down upon them because they were not on the same level. If that answers that question, it does.

Speaker 2 (14:05)

And it speaks to this place that I really want to break that mindset because if that's you out there listening and your mindset is I'm just the guy that channels the audio. I'm just the guy that makes sure the ads run on a cycle basis. You are also this person that has a unique skill set, a unique view of the world. And one thing that I learn over and over, either in my podcasting world, my own life is it's very difficult to struggle what you consider normal and what you consider like what you could do every day with your eyes closed. We really don't assign a value to that enough. And it really came into a play when I first started editing podcasts for you that prior to editing podcasts for podcast consultant, I really didn't value my ability to edit a podcast. I didn't value that idea. And I would edit my own podcast and I would interview people. And then once I was paid for this skill, I realized like, you know what? These guests that I'm interviewing aren't worth the amount of money. If I were to pay someone to edit this, I was like, that's worth something.

Speaker 2 (15:13)

And it's these initial mindsets that I want to hopefully kind of knock a few of them down here that you have value in these skill sets and they are valuable in other areas. And you aren't limited by these worlds that have pre conceived rules, preconceived processes and hierarchy that you have to do your time. You have to climb the corporate ladder in the right order in order to get up there because you haven't done your time. So it's almost like a 40 year old looking down at 25 year old. Like, who do you think you are to think you can ask for $80,000 salary? So my next question for you, Mathew, is as you look back, what were those skill sets that you fully didn't maybe value that even now you still draw upon that were right there in front of you the entire time, but have served you really well in podcasting.

Speaker 1 (16:03)

A lot of it is just it's interesting because I often say and I often joke that none of the things I learned in high school really prep me for College, things I learned in College really prep me for my first job. Things I learned in my first job really prep me for my second job, and so on. And I've said many times, none of the things I learned in the workforce ever prepared me for what I'm doing today. Most of the things I've said or I feel like I had to learn on the fly from experience, from getting it wrong. And sometimes it makes me wish and wonder that are we really training students and kids with the right skills, or are we just jamming information down their throats that may or may not be relevant, but that's really cynical thinking. The truth is, the things that I learned in my previous jobs are more of the it's like the lessons, right? It's like the mistakes. How you run a show in radio is different than how you run a show in podcasting. But messing up the automation in radio makes you think twice about setting your automation here and not taking any chances.

Speaker 1 (17:20)

Did having a certain file system for the way we organize our reports of the Wall Street Journal teach me anything about whatever? No. But it wasn't a lesson per se. But when I got to this and I started to work with clients, I quickly realized that if I want to have a chance of this staying organized and not getting out of control, then I better kind of emulate the system that I had created over there and make a couple of tweaks for what it is that I want to do. And I think a lot of the lessons that I took away were the experiences of on air performance stuff. A lot of the coaching that we do with clients as far as how to be comfortable behind the mic, how to think about the mic, how to think about who your audience is. A lot of that comes down to the kinds of I don't want to say it wasn't like formal training, but it was almost more like the informal guidance that you got along the way. Right. It was those days that my former boss, who I still love to this day and find to be just an incredible talent every time she would pull me aside and just be like, you should try this.

Speaker 1 (18:31)

Or I was listening to something you did and it was good. But maybe you should think about doing this or whatever. It wasn't really like a class per se. It was really just people listening and offering to help, and you having to swallow your pride and take that advice and take that other person's experience and maybe not. You don't have to do it exactly what they say, but you have to understand the spirit of what they're saying, why they're offering that advice, and then apply it to what it is that you're doing now. Right. So I don't necessarily copy the exact organizational structure of all of our files that we used at Dow Jones. But I know that I need to have an organizational structure in order to keep things in the right place in order to make sure that nothing gets out of hand. Same thing and something that this has taken me a long time to kind of really appreciate. But we were good at having a step by step process, right. If somebody was out and somebody had to fill in for you, we were supposed to train them, we were supposed to show them what to do.

Speaker 1 (19:40)

But really, we had a plan, a set of procedures for what had to happen. And for the longest time, because I was doing this on my own, I didn't really think about, oh, there's nobody got a trend like it's either me or nobody. And now that we are expanding the team and growing the team and bringing more people, I'm taking more things off my plate. I'm realizing that not having those procedures right. Not having the step by step of what I did is making it incredibly frustrating for people who want to help out and take over and kind of leaning on them to create those systems.

Speaker 2 (20:10)

The other thing that I hear in your story and it's similar in my story is sometimes the most valuable lessons that we also don't value enough is learning what not to do, either mismanaging and on your personality, saying things that become a hot mic moment, or saying things like what we talked about last week, where you have these kind of like PR disasters that you kind of have to work through, of trying to make sure that this ship doesn't get burned down with whatever said. That experience and wisdom allows you to see different things and allow you to avoid them when you start applying them. But you also have the deeper lesson. I think this is also really beneficial for podcasting is learning what not to do. I have found more valuable than often learning sometimes what to do, because if you can avoid some of the mistakes because you witness someone else's, those allow you to kind of skip a few steps in podcast, and there's a lot of mistakes to make. And so if you can learn from any of the mistakes that have been made that you've been witnessed to, that process gets a lot easier to apply.

Speaker 2 (21:09)

And whatever you do, whether it be a podcasting or whether it'd be a different career that you're trying to reboot.

Speaker 1 (21:13)

It, yes, I would agree. And truthfully, as much as I try to help all of my clients and help the people who I coach and help the people I consult with by telling them the lessons that I learned from my mistakes, I also know and recognize that some people, they just have to make them themselves. It's just as much as you want to. And I'm sure parents feel the same way with their kids, right. As much as you try and teach your kids, don't do this, don't do this, don't do this. Whatever. Really, the only way they're going to learn is to make that mistake. So the good news is if you have done it, you've made the problem, you are aware of what's going to happen. Then when somebody makes the mistake and quickly be like, here's what you should have done or right, you can help them out and kind of help them solve that problem a little bit faster. But yeah, I think most of our best lessons and some people learn differently than others. But I think most of our best lessons come not from being told how to do it right, but experiencing what happens when you do it wrong.

Speaker 2 (22:19)

You told me a story once about an idea for pitching a podcast to an executive, and this was early on in podcasting and it didn't catch. And a few years later it did catch. Tell me about that story, because I think the other opportunity here is as sitting on the side in the B level or on the side of the studio or even maybe as a personality, you see and have ideas that often because media can sometimes be old and archaic and stuck in habits, doesn't get traction. And I think this also is an opportunity for you to run with different ideas. And a lot of what you do today, I think, is based on that story, if I fully remember it.

Speaker 1 (22:58)

Yeah. I have found that the legacy media companies are glacial in their ability to pivot, ability to transition, ability to progress in what they are doing. Some of that is because of how these systems work, because it takes a long time to turn a cruise ship that's like a long time to turn a tanker or an aircraft carrier. Whereas if you're a little jet ski, you want to turn like done right, you can go. And so there is something to be said about how nimble you can be when you are smaller and independent and how difficult it is to pivot when you are much larger and set in your ways. That said, I think there have also been lots of media companies that recognize that there are things that they need to do differently and they're willing to put some people in place to try it, to test it, to kind of lay the groundwork. But yeah, for the most part, the perception of old media is that they're stuck in their ways and listen sometimes. Maybe it pays off. For the longest time, we're like broadcast media is going away. The Netflix model is here to stay, right?

Speaker 1 (24:29)

We're done with ads. It's always going to be pay for TV and we're streaming now. It's happening. Netflix is talking about putting ads in their content. Right. So does that make legacy media correct? A little bit. That said, I still think there is something to the progress that Netflix and others have brought to some of these institutions. And also there's just a lot of money at play, right? There's a lot of bodies and contracts and personnel and locations and facilities and regulations and other things in play that make it hard for these guys to adapt and to change. Which is why what you often see is that when things slow down, instead of pivoting and taking people and saying, okay, we're going to shift you over here, they just drop the axe and lay off a whole bunch of people and kind of reset or triple A, just let it go. Yeah, they just weed it out and say, okay, this isn't working. Basically, that's what happened to us. There was a problem in radio and instead of very carefully recrafting our unit to focus on digital audio media, they were just like, yeah, it's just cleaner.

Speaker 1 (25:48)

We're just going to let you all go. And then six to eight months later, it was basically like, okay, yeah, we should probably be still doing that digital audio stuff. And they had to basically start from square one.

Speaker 2 (26:00)

I didn't start with this question of mine, but I'm really curious if you have any insights, what made MPR a success story? Because MPR is one of the top media companies before even, and it still is one of the top produce podcasts today with a lot of money behind it. Was there something different about the NPR story that allowed them to adopt and make it through that I'm not aware of or even that other people might be interested in?

Speaker 1 (26:26)

I can't say that I have real incident knowledge. I've never worked for a public radio station or anything like that. I would say that one their content like they've always been very popular amongst their listeners. They've always had a very loyal fan base of people who have always wanted to catch their content, enjoy their content. They've always kind of done things their own way and they haven't really tried to conform to what the legacy broadcast entities wanted to do. They were never really corporatized or focus group to death like we saw so often with other places. And truthfully, what I think happened was that digital media just happened to play to their strengths and they embraced it very quickly. And their strengths are, they are not about quick hits and moving you along to get you the traffic and weather. Typical broadcast radio is I remember first time I heard this, I was a little bit shocked. But one of the talk talents or one of the DJs or whatever, it was somebody who worked at a radio station with me whose job was what you would consider to be the talent, right? Either the talk show host or the person who's playing the music.

Speaker 1 (27:44)

They always said to me, yeah, my job is to keep you here long enough to hear the traffic and the weather because that's where these stations made their money. Right. They sold ads, and the ads really came up when people are listening to those other elements that were on the station. And so they kept having to conform and change and adapt so that they could keep people listening longer. Radio is obsessed with how long people listen for and how many people are listening at like 15 minutes units. Whereas public radio, yes, they care about how many people are listening. But public radio really has always been more in depth, more worried about that, like, quick progression of element to element to element, and more just about focusing on high quality talent, high quality stories, high quality shows. And so when you have that, and yes, you are still stuck with the clock, right. If you're an NPR station, you are still pulling content from the national feed, right? Like, wait, wait, Don't Tell Me is a Chicago show, but it runs on most NPR stations. So when that show is ready to run, that local station has to be done with everything else to make room for this content to come in and get played.

Speaker 1 (29:02)

But when you take your content off the radio and you move it over to a podcast, you lose the time restrictions, you lose the broadcast restrictions, and you're able to really go as in depth, as detailed, as focused on whatever topic it is that you are passionate about as you want to.



Speaker 1 (29:23)

Which is why when cereal came out, what made it so powerful was here's a story that maybe might have gotten like an episode of 2020, right. Maybe 2020 would do an hour on this kind of story. And out of that hour, 18 minutes are commercial. So you really only have 42 minutes to tell the story. And what this American Life decided to do was get the story and tell it in as long as they wanted to do. And it turned out to be something like ten episodes. But because they were able to get so deep and they could really take their time and not every episode was the same amount of time. Right. Some are 25 minutes somewhere, 35 minutes, somewhere like 45 minutes, whatever. Because they weren't restricted by those barriers that are set up by broadcast entities. They could just tell a good story. So one, the medium kind of presented itself in a way that it made it easier for them to do what it is that they are good at doing what they are passionate about doing. And two, because they have content that is enjoyed, like is created by local stations but is enjoyed by people all over the country.

Speaker 1 (30:44)

The fact is that if you happen to miss your favorite show on Tuesday at 05:00, you are Sol. But now with podcasting, anybody could go and find all of the content that they're putting out there and listen to it at their own leisure. And even before I think podcasting, I think NPR was even pretty good about just like having the stuff available online. And so, I mean, I think just the way the medium works just happened to play to their absolute strengths of what it is that they put out there. And I think that's also true of channels like HBO, Netflix, Showtime, right. Typically, you watch a television show, 30 minutes show, and that 30 minutes is really condensed down to 22, 23 minutes because they've got to fill the time with commercials or even if it's an hour long show. Right. Like every episode of the show was an hour. They always had to tell the story from 08:00 to 09:00, minus the commercials. Now when you watch shows on HBO or Netflix or any of these streaming platforms, one week the episode is 42 minutes, the next week it's 57 minutes. The week after that, they happen to go an hour and 30 minutes, which means they can just tell the story the way they want to tell, and they don't have to jam everything in into a particular clock, which is great because it takes out that pressure of we have to take this out.

Speaker 1 (32:17)

We have to put this in because we have these artificial limits on us. Whereas now it's like, no, we're going to tell the story the way we want to tell the story, because that's what the story is.

Speaker 2 (32:25)

I'm glad you asked that question, because it inspired a whole bunch of other questions, but I'm not going to have enough time to ask them. Part two, maybe. Part two. One thing that really solidified what you just said, why the medium was perfect is Car Talk. Car Talk. The guys aren't even alive anymore, and they're still publishing and selling advertising on this stuff that was recorded decades ago. And it's still just as funny. It is still just as relevant to listen to. And it's still just as good. And NPR is still making money on it and using this digital medium to take something that they've already produced, to take something that many people have already listened to and introduced it to an entire new generation. And Car Talk is a highly addictive show. I can tell you, on any bad day, if I listen to Car Talk, I'm going to feel better at the end of that 30 minutes episode. And it also opened up to this other question, an opportunity where radio stations are solving problems every day. Some problems they were really good at solving, another problems they probably talk about over and over.

Speaker 2 (33:27)

And I'm sure you're aware of some of those problems that they talk about over and over. And there's often whether in radio station or a company, there's those company problems that like, you know, the solution. But even if you told them the solution, they wouldn't do it. And every business that started needs to solve a problem. That's one of the core things makes business exist is what problem are you solving if you are a media professional, if you are a photographer, if you're a sports journalist, whether you're any type of anything within the media, look at those problems that seem unsolvable to the people in your organization and ask yourself, am I perfectly designed to solve that on my own? If you are, you potentially got the first seed of what could be an Oak tree, and that Oak tree could be your business. So I'm curious if you were to even just riff on a few ideas of some problems, like what were some of those problems that radio just seemed to always struggle on solving, that maybe someone could use those as brainstormed in their own world.

Speaker 1 (34:32)

I'm going to point to a little bit more of a specific example. So I remember being a pod Fest a few years ago and meeting a gentleman who was a print reporter. I think he worked for a newspaper and he was like the beat writer for a particular College athletic Department. All he did, all he covered was the College athletics for whatever University that was baseball, football, wrestling, the whole gamut. And what I remember him saying was he kept getting less and less time or less and less space in the paper for his content because the advertisers that were willing to pay more money favored different content. Right. So their coverage was being driven and being decided on by the people who were supporting them. And listen, that's not necessarily the worst thing in the world. Like if you're paying a sponsor something, you probably are the executive.

Speaker 2 (35:42)

That makes good sense.

Speaker 1 (35:43)

Well, it's not just the executive, but. Right. If you're a paper and you have somebody who's coming along who says, I'm willing to give you a million dollars, but I prefer you cover the Falcons over whatever school this is. And the paper is like, well, yeah, a million dollars is nice. So we're going to make a business decision that will whatever. And so what was happening was you had more and more decisions being made that were about the bottom line. And yes, I understand businesses have to make money and there's a bottom line. But news is also a public service. And so the gain of profits that they were making for this limited real estate on the newspaper or limited time on the radio hour or on the television show meant that this person was getting less and less important and less and less focused. Now you take that person and you get them out of this entity that is only focused on the bottom line or their focal shift is now only to larger entities and larger sponsors. And this person can now take back that piece of content that had an audience that had people craving it, that frankly, was a public service to talk about.

Speaker 1 (37:16)

And he can take the unlimited podcast time. He wants to produce video time he wants to produce blog time. He wants to write about. When you are doing digital media, you kind of have whatever space you want to work with. And now he can go back to some of the smaller advertisers who got priced out of the market because they were being outbid by these larger entities. They were like, no, I'll buy up the whole page. Well, somebody buys up the whole page. That's four quarter pages that aren't there for somebody else to buy anymore. And basically, this person can take their local focus on College sports that people care about, pair it with local businesses that are tied to that school or close to that school or just passionate about that school, and they can create a relationship and everybody can be successful. So I think that's kind of one way that if you are going to go that independent route, you don't have to go that independent route, and then all of a sudden try to be so big that you're appealing to the same people that were working with the big corporations.

Speaker 1 (38:32)

The whole point of being independent is you can get all these other independent entities that need a place to communicate and work with them and potentially be just as successful.

Speaker 2 (38:47)

We were definitely going to mic drop at that question and close out with that as our last question. And I want to highlight two things that you did for the audience, made it a micromanagement that I'm willing to pull the plug on this episode is that you can take these things that only you can see. And in this case, it wouldn't have been a problem that they even seen worth solving to them. This is like this is just business that would have been probably a classic line that would have been issued there. And you take that unique problem that isn't worth solving but has value and that you actually have a skill set to solve it and be valuable in this small little corner and step away from it. I think it's that perspective that really makes a media professional in this world of broadcasting, because there's so many different stories of content and toolsets and different everything within the world of media that most people don't experience. And to me, it's those unique problems that get glossed over because there's not enough money there, but there is money. It's just not big enough money to say, like ABC News changing their programming schedule.

Speaker 2 (39:47)

Those types of ideas could be your transition out of what maybe you feel like is a dying job or out of something that you're worried about how you're going to provide for your family. So to me, the homework for anybody listening to this that was intrigued, inspired find that problem that you think you could solve and be the solution to that problem in whatever way it kind of comes from it. Take this episode as an opportunity to take action from it. Either reach out to Matthew and talk about it. He offers those consulting calls, he offers these audits on these ideas to help you sharpen this idea. And so especially if you're in media, you would have the benefit of him being in media as well. So make sure you take up on that offer that he offers on his website, the podcastconsultant.com. This episode is perfectly designed to take a career transition from something that seems like it's dying and find that unique problem that turns you into an entrepreneur that creates freedom that you often see on Facebook. And you realize that this is part and closer to you and reality than you ever really realized.

Speaker 2 (40:48)

So hopefully, if you're listening to this, you got value out of it and you can see your life in a little bit wider view than you did before. And Matthew, thank you for opening up your mind. Your story for us to see windows and doors into rooms that we really thought were closing closets, but now we can see opportunity and a way through.

Speaker 1 (41:07)

And by the way, I just want to add one little piece of that, which is it doesn't always have to be on the content side. We're talking a lot about the people behind the microphone, a lot about people who help produce the content that goes in the microphone, on the camera, or anything like that. But there are thousands and thousands of other jobs and other responsibilities that happen inside a media company that are also being cut and a few that come to mind really quickly. And personally, I would love to connect with people who are into this and see ways that we can help others out there. But right, if you're salespeople and you're beat with local media, there are podcasters who are begging for someone to help them sell ads and have those prior relationships. There's marketing and promotions people, the people who go out there and create events and create interest and collaborate within the community. Those folks were probably getting laid off. That would be fun if they could connect with a podcaster or a group of podcasters or a whole network of podcast me anything of give them that same radio experience.

Speaker 1 (42:14)

So I don't think you just have to limit yourself to those folks who worked in media and were on microphone or running the board. Anybody who was in the building has a talent that probably needs to be absorbed and used by digital content creators who ultimately have the same end goal, which is attract as many people as possible to listen to my content and convert that into some sort of return on this investment.

Speaker 2 (42:45)

You reminded me of two things that we've already kind of talked about is one another reason to go to podcast conferences is to understand your skill set in a way that you don't currently understand it by having conversations with people in that world. And the second one is all of our news generally comes from Podnews. Net at the bottom, every podnews.net email, there is a job listing of all the different jobs that get posted within Pod news that they're out sharing. So if you're trying to find a job in podcasting which is hard to Google, it's not like this, like you're trying to be an It guy, it's a little bit tricky. Look for Pod news. Net at the bottom to give you some initial breadcrumbs of what some careers look like within podcasting because it is even just from a career point of view. You don't even have to podcast. There's lots of money in podcasts and we've talked about it and there's a whole world that you just got to enter into. So again, Matthew, thanks for that final close and we really closed out with a really great episode that hopefully inspired someone to in a big way, change your life and how it was yesterday.

Speaker 1 (43:44)

I hope so. Thanks for having thanks for having me. This is my show. Good to be here, Ben.