This summer, Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan took the show on the road. Conan and the crew headed to Colorado where they first did two shows at the Aspen Ideas Festival in conjunction with Aspen Public Radio, and then went to Denver for a live broadcast from the studios of Colorado Public Radio (CPR).
We talked with CPR's Programming VP Sean Nethery to get his thoughts on the live event. Nethery says he appreciated how the program focused on issues important in Colorado, like federal farm subsidies and the challenges faced by independent booksellers, and expanded them to be of interest to a national audience.
"This is the best example of how local stations and a national news organization can work together," Nethery says. "It was a lesson for us to see how a local story can be clearly relevant to a larger issue."
The local-national partnership is especially important to the audience, says Nethery. Listeners care about local issues and also how those issues connect to the larger world.
"By having Talk of the Nation and Neal Conan in Colorado, we could showcase the ways we are connecting, complementing and completing the national service NPR provides."
The small group of donors to CPR who were able to be in the studio during the broadcast, helped Nethery to remember why he works in public radio.
"We don't think it's always that exciting to work here," he says. "But I was in the room; they were just riveted. It's more exciting for the listeners than we realize."
Here's a behind-the-scenes video with Neal and shots from the broadcast the station put together so everyone could share in the excitement:
Colorado Public RadioYouTube
Next month, Neal and Talk of the Nation will be stepping out again. This time they'll be a little closer to home at National Geographic in Washington, D.C. Stay tuned to find out how you can be a member of the audience.