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A Millennial's Take on BYUradio

If I had been asked yesterday to describe a quintessential radio listener, I would have immediately started talking about my dad. He’s one of the last from the Baby Boomer generation with salt and pepper hair, his polo tucked into his cargo shorts and with either Car Talk or football game announcers always playing in the background. He’s the epitome of America’s radio listener today.

Or rather, he was. As of today, the paradigm has changed to include the new generation in town – the millennials. Historically, this age group, of which I’m a part, has only listened to the radio when someone forgot the aux cord or when the Bluetooth wasn’t working. Even then, the radio was tuned in to Ryan Seacrest’s Top 40 which played all the new pop music, and certainly not to a talk show. And heaven forbid we be caught listening to AM radio.

Times are changing, however, and the change is for the better. With the introduction of podcasts and audio books, popular culture has started to accept information based talk shows instead of a constant stream of the latest Nashville hits. BYU Radio has supported this trend since its genesis with a constant flow of shows such as Top of Mind, which takes news and current issues beyond the headlines, or Thinking Aloud, which dives into the minds of the world’s experts.

Today’s big change is a new update in the BYU Radio apps, which has made all of these talks shows even more accessible. Until recently, listeners could only listen to content that was streaming on-air at that very moment. Now, however, it’s possible to listen to any archived show at any time on both iOS and Android platforms! This means that no matter what time of day it is, you can choose which show to listen to on repeat. If you missed an episode, no worries! It’s there waiting for you on the BYU Radio app. Every segment of every show since the beginning is now completely available on-demand.

So, for a millennial like me, this means that it’s not just my dad who can listen to talk shows on his way to work. It means that radio talk shows are here and available for our generation. With this improvement, BYU Radio shows are now unlimited for all, including the 18-year-old girl who’s going on a run to the mountains, the 26-year-old computer developer at his desk, and the 75-year-old grandmother in her garden.

So if I were asked today to describe America’s quintessential radio listener, I’d be at a loss. With all BYU Radio shows now on-demand through the app, the audience for radio is so much larger that it’s impossible to contain the stereotype to just one demographic. So make room, Dad – the radio bandwagon is about to get a lot more crowded.


-Hope Goimarac, a BYU Student studying Portuguese and Business, is an administrative assistant at BYU Radio.

All-New Apps for Mobile

BYUradio has a shiny new app for iOS, Android, and now Kindle Fire devices. Naturally, we are terribly excited about this cool new free present, available for download as an early Christmas present.

Every day here at BYUradio, we produce roughly 8 hours of radio shows, served up fresh and hot off the proverbial grill. That's a lot. Then add in the 3500+ existing episodes we've recorded in our short four-year history. That's a mountain of great talk to listen to on your phone while jogging, working around the house, or in the car.

As of today, it's now as easy for mobile users to enjoy access to our huge library that desktop visitors to BYUradio.org have enjoyed for the past two years.  Simply download our updated app for your mobile device:

BYUradio for iOS (Apple App Store)

BYUradio for Android (Google Play)

BYUradio for Kindle Fire (Amazon)

Behind the Scenes on The Apple Seed

As you know, The Apple Seed is an hour just about every day devoted to storytelling: tall tales, small tales, fairy and folktales, folklore and family-lore, urban legends and exciting yarns, bedtime stories, daytime stories, and everything in between. We love a good story and we treat each of our original episodes like a good old fashioned fox hunt: we wake up early, put on funny checkered caps, and follow stories over the river and through the woods to capture and collect them in our extensive story catalog.

Creating each episode is a team effort, and each of us adds a little of this and a little of that. We typically have a weekly meeting where we give assignments, start new projects & scripts, schedule interviews and time in the studios, and check on our progress (and everybody’s health!). If you look at our desks, you’ll see notepads stacked on top of each other bursting with brilliant and less-brilliant, our favorite CDs we want to keep close for listening and inspiration, a couple of stray recording kits, and all the water bottles we keep forgetting about. Despite the excess of notepads, CDs, and water bottles, it seems that the one resource we are always scarce on is time.

We work with storytellers from all walks of life and all kinds of backgrounds. Many of the storytellers we work with are professionals who work in the oral tradition for a living and they travel around the country and the world performing to audiences young and old at festivals, schools, museums, theatres and concert halls. Many of these storytellers have recordings and albums that they generously share with us so that we can share them with you. We have many stories from people who also just share our love of a good story: fishermen, genealogists, paranormal investigators, historians, artists, musicians, naturalists and scientists. And lastly, we collect stories from anybody who is patient enough to let us point a microphone in their direction (our moms and dads, for instance). We believe that every person is a library, that they’re a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and insight.

Members of The Apple Seed team have discovered stories from all different kinds of places, events, and festivals—including the festival right in our backyard, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in Orem, Utah. Our producer, Andy Bay, and our host, Sam Payne, have visited storytelling festivals in the Bay Area, New Mexico, in Toronto, Canada, and the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Recently, our whole team traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, new home of the National Storytelling Network and the National Storytelling Conference. We’ve also searched for stories that are little closer to home: hunting Bigfoot and UFOs in the small desert towns in Utah; inviting people into Studio 6 and Studio 3 to talk story and listen to performances; and many of our meetings unintentionally become a sharing time where we enthusiastically discuss the stories and people we’ve encountered that week.

Each of member of the Apple Seed is responsible for discovering, recording, engineering, and listening to hundreds of hours of stories -- and some of us aren’t even bad at telling stories ourselves! Anyone who listens to our show will know that our talented and charming host, Sam Payne, is a true performer in every sense.  (What you may not know, is that Sam also has a penchant for wearing tweed jackets and colorful glasses!)

If you were to ask around the BYURadio office about the Apple Seed team, you’d perhaps hear the words “raucous”, “fun”, and most likely, “loud.” Our animated team reflects the vivid and vibrant tradition of oral storytelling. When we are not glued to our computer screens— listening and cataloging stories, editing recordings, and sending out a metric ton of emails—you’ll find us laughing together or passionately discussing many of our shared interests, which include but are not limited to: the respective careers of John Cena and Shaquille O’Neal, Star Wars, Harry Potter, a good pair of socks, pizza, pranks, and politics. We also are interested in doughnuts of all shapes and sizes.

At any given moment, you can catch Makena and Deidrene nodding and smiling while Sam Bennion, Andre, and Andy talk about international soccer; or Andy giving an anecdote from one of his many travels (name a place, and Andy has been there and knows where the best restaurant is); or an enthralling office discussion about latest movies. If we’re all together in a room for too long, we will inevitably start swapping our favorite seasonal recipes, lamenting over our respective homework loads (you will find that our assistant producers and audio engineer haven’t slept much since they started college a few years ago), or with our face pressed against the windows watching people pass by the BYU Broadcasting Building. Our contributions to BYUradio office culture include our quirky decorations, our collection of sound effects and sound bites (live and recorded), and, recently, sorting BYUradio staff pictures according to their respective Hogwarts Houses. (Despite Andre, Makena, and Deidrene being in Gryffindor and Sam Bennion being our sole Slytherin, there is no house rivalry within our tight-knit team.)

The Apple Seed Team is energetic, enthusiastic, and loves being able to share a world of stories with our listeners. The world of Storytelling is like a big family tree whose branches spread across all boundaries, and when somebody begins their story it often feels like home.

Behind the Scenes at BYU Sports Nation

It all starts when a former Cougar makes a tackle in the NFL, or a current Cougar gets recognition in a conference. It starts when Alexa Gray gets career high kills against Pepperdine or when Men’s Basketball reveals their new uniforms for the upcoming season. It all starts way before 7:30 a.m. when BYU Sports Nation Hosts Jarom Jordan and Spencer Linton meet with Producer Ben Bagley and his production team at the BYU Broadcasting Building in Provo, Utah to discuss everything that has transpired in “The Nation” within the last 23 hours.

The sun slowly rises over Lavell Edwards Stadium and casts a pink glow onto the Marriott Center as the team sits down to list all of the latest BYU news from Twitter, the media, press releases, interviews and personal conversations with Cougar coaches and players to make up all of the day’s potential content for Sports Nation. If you are a BYU sports geek, then this is your “Comic-con.” Jarom, Spencer, Ben and the team go nuts about anything Cougar blue for two whole hours. The room, bordering irreverent with all of the laughing and debating, doesn’t empty until Jarom, Spencer and Ben have a good idea about the day’s stories, trending topics and potential content that they will share over the air.

Ben’s team runs around like mad for about two hours; cutting audio clips, building fonts and story headlines for the broadcast, pre-tweeting interview reminders and creating video clips for the show. But, emerging from what seems like organized chaos comes all of the little things that make the show into what it is—from the touchdowns that made you cry like you did when you first saw the new Star Wars trailer, to the clever little tweet that says something like ‘Sit back, Relax, and Watch BYUSN’ with an attached GIF of Michael Jackson happily eating popcorn in a movie theater.

Now that content has been discovered, developed, polished and made presentable, we are ready to shoot the show. Spencer and Jarom are on the set of Studio B; Ben and his team are in the Production Control Room. Inside the control room there are 1.2 million (roughly) T.V. and computer screens all being used by someone to do something—whether that’s fonting the little texts that frequently pop up during the show or managing which shot we are going to use and when. There are headsets, buttons, knobs, cables, cameras...yeah, it’s like what Robocop is made of.

During the show, Ben and the team update Jarom and Spencer, who are in the studio, on content, upcoming tweets and show segments, as well as the occasional breaking news update. A whole team of 10-15 people work behind the Hosts to give them the exposure and information they need in order to get the stories and content that they’ve discussed in the morning meeting out to you, the audience in a succinct and timely manner. Because after all (cue music) everything we do is for you, the BYU Sports Nation.

After the show, everyone gathers together on the set to discuss how the show went and more importantly, how they could each improve the show in their own respects. The show is a living thing, made up of constantly updating conversation and events over the internet and on BYU campus. The people who make it come to life are constantly trying to innovate and create a better show to broadcast. Ben Bagley says it best: “Our aim, every day, is to inform and entertain all of BYU Sports Nation with news and interviews from the biggest names in BYU Sports.” How do Jarom, Spencer, Ben and the guys do that? By improving BYUSN one show at a time.

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