For immediate release
February 7, 2006

NO MORE "WAIT, WAIT"-ING: IRREVERENT QUIZ SHOW WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME! PLUS ALL 24 NPR DAILY NEWSCASTS NOW AVAILABLE AS PODCASTS

NPR Launches Third Phase of Podcasting with Directory Featuring 250 Titles from 79 Public Radio Stations; Public Radio Podcast Downloads Hit 13 Million

Washington, D.C. -- Just six months after launching its first podcasts, NPR today kicks off the project's third phase with a number of new elements:

  • The first free download of NPR's hit irreverent topical quiz show, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! – which also marks the first full-program podcast of an NPR-produced show
  • In collaboration with NPR member stations across the country, a directory featuring more than 250 podcasts representing the best of public radio programming – produced by NPR, 79 stations and other producers
  • All 24 of NPR News' hourly Newscasts, now being offered as a single podcast
  • The new NPR Station Showcase, a weekly podcast highlighting creative content from stations around the U.S., from the Public Radio Exchange
  • The introduction of additional NPR Podcasts, including new content under the experimental "alt.NPR" brand
  • Archiving of episodic podcasts available through the www.NPR.org website

To date, podcasts by NPR and public radio stations have been downloaded more than 13 million times.

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! has ranked among NPR's most-requested programs for podcasting. The fast-paced, funny topical quiz show – hosted by Peter Sagal and co-produced by NPR and WBEZ Chicago – was previously available through a third-party paid subscription service. It is now offered free-of-charge in two forms: the complete hour-long program and a standalone podcast of its "Not My Job" segment featuring newsmakers quizzed about areas of knowledge totally outside their areas of expertise.

Since its podcasting debut, NPR has offered four of its hourly Newscasts, which have permanently ranked among the "most downloaded" titles on such sites as iTunes and Yahoo! With this new phase, all 24 daily NPR Newscasts will be available for downloading through one new podcast.

The third phase also creates the largest directory of public radio podcasts, with more than 250 titles from NPR, 79 local stations and other producers. The content includes regional news and information programming, arts and entertainment. Additionally, a new weekly podcast, NPR Station Showcase, will bring together interesting and innovative program features from public radio stations around the country. It will be produced by the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

Among the new NPR Podcasts titles being introduced in this phase are its popular listener-inspired "Driveway Moments" segments; "This I Believe," a contemporary version of the classic Edward R. Murrow series of personal essays, and "Classicool Kids," featuring the next generation of classical music artists profiled on the NPR series From the Top. Also, new offerings include "Performance Today Piano Puzzler;" "On Point," produced by WBUR Boston, and "Piano Jazz Shorts with Marian McPartland," produced by South Carolina Educational Radio and Television. The "alt.NPR" brand, created in the phase two launch in November to provide experimental content, also expands in this new stage with several new titles, including "Cellar Rat with Allan Baker," exploring the culture and personalities of the California wine industry; "The Theory of Everything," performance pieces by podcasting pioneer Benjamen Walker and "Brini Maxwell's Hints for Gracious Living," featuring Maxwell's retro-themed take on hints and ideas to make life more interesting.

Finally, NPR answers podcast users' interest in access to previous content by archiving the 10 most current editions of each NPR title on NPR.org.

On August 31, a partnership of NPR and seven NPR member stations launched the first collaborative public radio podcasting project, which included business and technology models that would enable participation by stations around the country. At that time, the directory offered 33 podcasts, including 16 from NPR and others from local public radio stations. On November 7, phase two was introduced with highlights including NPR's first original-to-podcast content under the "alt.NPR" brand; participation from additional stations beyond the original group, and a number of new themed titles from NPR programming.

A list of the participating local stations and their podcasts can be viewed at http://www.npr.org/rss/pod/partners.html