Newspapers in drivetime
Somewhere recently I read a short item in which Robert Siegel said that every time he saw a photo of a long traffic jam on the interstate, he silently gave thanks for conditions that trapped all those people in cars where all they could do was listen to the radio.
What if they could listen to the newspaper, instead?
Particularly from our vantage point here in California, the idea of reaching people during commute time is mighty attractive. All our papers are honing production cycles and tuning distribution systems to get the paper on doorsteps by 5:30 or even 5:00 am. (Watch them closely or they’ll also want to push back deadlines, as if papers with late scores are a real win …)
So what if they could subscribe to a podcast that iTunes automatically downloaded to the home computer sometime overnight? (I already get a couple of newspaper columnist podcasts delivered this way; it's trivially easy). You could then transfer it to an iPod while the coffee brewed and then listen on the drive to work, couldn't you?
It would be great if we could produce a couple of versions – maybe one for a 20-minute drive, and another for a half-hour. I wonder how staff time it would take to produce something like this? Maybe a radio station that doesn't normally do much drivetime news would be interested in partnering, or a college class of some kind ...
Has anybody tried anything like this?