history

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Larry and Jennie Josephson at WBAI, in the early 1980’s. 

Here’s a story about the girl in the picture.

If it weren’t for public radio, I wouldn’t exist. My father Larry Josephson was a public radio host before the creation of National Public Radio. He hosted a morning show on WBAI, the Pacifica station in New York City. This was in the 1960’s when WBAI was the center of the countercultural revolution.

My dad moved west in the 1970’s to work at KPFA in Berkeley, CA. That’s where he met my mom. They moved back to New York and I was born. I made my radio debut when I was four years old. Fair warning: I flubbed the call sign.

The other thing you need to know is that I was a camp counselor at a Quaker summer camp in Pennsylvania. This is where I learned how to keep the peace between 8-10 tweens living in a space the size of your spare bedroom. You can’t imagine how much this has helped in every job since. I also learned to parallel park a Dodge Ram sixteen-seater with a full canoe rack on the back, which is harder than you think.

After college, I worked for eight years at CBS News, freelanced in traditional media for a while, and then worked for Yahoo as a digital video producer. I produced award-winning branded series and mini-documentaries. I was hired as a video programmer, which was essentially a paid education in how to promote digital content, improve audience experience, and analyze metrics.

I was the executive producer of The Daily Tech News Show, a crowd-funded independent podcast about technology. Tom Merritt, the host of that show, has taught me an incredible amount about how to build a thriving, positive internet community, something he’s done successfully for more than a decade. I’m currently a senior advisor to that show, which is headed into its fifth year of independent ad-free podcasting.

I’ve spent the last two years at the public radio show Marketplace, working with some of the best people in the business. I helped launch the podcast Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly, and produced and edited 46 episodes of the weekly program. It’s a job I love, and would love to continue doing, but as it turns out, my dad, that guy in the picture, and the first person to put me on the radio, needs a little more help these days.

So I’m returning to independent podcast producing and consulting. I’ll be based out of Los Angeles, with longer trips to New York. I’m taking on projects that “fit in a backpack” and travel with me.

Well, that’s the past. I hope we get the opportunity to work together in the future.

Jennie

 

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