Four Methods From WNYC To Give Content From Shows Extra 'Digital Love' [VIDEO]

Mar 22, 2014

Jody Avirgan, Producer for WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show.
Credit Jody Avirgan

One of the issues we hear show producers struggling with again and again, is how to find the time to do digital content justices in the midst of a tight production schedule, especially if there is not a dedicated web producer. 

To find some possible solutions we turned to Jody Avirgan, a producer for WNYC's midday talk show, The Brian Lehrer Show. Jody is responsible for the majority of the show's digital presence, but also is a full time producer for the show, and has experimented with how to make the web succeed with the limited amount of time he can give to it. 

Jody recently joined us for a webinar to share how he tackles the challenge of creating great content and balancing his on air and online responsibilities. You can find the full recording as well the slide show from the presentation below. 

Here are Jody's  four methods for how to efficiently give digital content that little boast that can help it succeed:

Method #1 - Give a segment buildout a quick refresh to reflect what actually happened on air [Watch

Credit Jody Avirgan

Updating a headline, adding a news worthy quote, or a picture taken in studio takes very little time and can help keep posts dynamic and engaging. 

Method #2- Use your show prep as new digital content, or to round out a segment buildout [Watch]

Credit Jody Avirgan

Take a minute and ask yourself, "Have I already done work in prep that can be used on the web?" A list of important facts for the host to remember? Leftover questions that didn't get answered in a segment? With a solid headline, that work you've already done can become a quick copy and paste job into a post for the web. For example, Jody used Method #2 to take prep work he had done for a Super Bowl segment on the show and create this post comparing Seattle and Denver census data.   

You can also check out #Showyourwork. 

Method #3- Live tweeting can also be a great way to fake a transcript [Watch]

Credit Jody Avirgan

If you live tweet great quotes during the segment, those tweets can be embedded into a post and serve as a fake transcript with the highlights from the show. It gives readers a list of the big moments from the segment that they can then share with ease. Those live tweets can also come in handy when you schedule late afternoon tweets to bring people back to earlier segments. You already have your highlights ready to go! 

Method #- Web first content can inspire on-air content. [Watch]

Credit Jody Avirgan

Often their great web original content comes from a basic curiosity that the team has about the New York City/politics/etc.  A curiosity that their audience might share. Instead of getting hung up on finding a way to build a whole segment around it, Jody will answer it in a post online. Digital gives them a space to experiment, and even be a little weird. If it resonates with your audience, then the response it inspires might even generate a segment on air. 

Bonus - The goal is to get people to craft their own tweets, and share, not just hit the tweet button. 

Jody strives to have the audience really engage with the content, not just press the Twitter or Facebook button and blast the default text out to their followers. The posts that succeed on the show's site and on social media, are the ones that have been given a little extra love. Something more than just the bare minimum. That added content gives viewers something to latch on to and digest, so they can then craft their own reaction.

You can find the full recording of our webinar with Jody as well as the slides from his presentation below:

Video from the Webinar: 

How The Brian Lehrer Show Makes it Work Online the Other 22 Hours of the Day from NPR Digital Services on Vimeo.

Slides from the Webinar: 

Four Ways The Brian Lehrer Show Gives Their Shows Digital Love from nprdigital

Follow Jody and The Brian Lehrer Show on Twitter. Have a suggestion for a post or show to profile? Email it to or tweet it to us @NPRDS