Carl Kozlowski is giving podcasting another try – and hoping to sustain his network with a newly introduced sponsorship model.
Kozlowski is chief creative officer of the podcasting network Radio Titans in downtown Los Angeles, which went silent last year after he had some static with his co-founders. It relaunched at a new downtown studio in February.
Now, Kozlowski said Radio Titans is trying to make deals with potential sponsors to build the fledgling Internet radio venture into a real business.
“Our thinking was let’s make sure that everybody settles in with their shows and that the tech stuff works,” said Kozlowski, who is also arts editor at Pasadena Weekly. “Now we’re pursuing the sponsors.”
Radio Titans offers about 20 programs featuring a variety of personalities, many of them comics. Shows include “Little Ethnic Girls,” co-hosted by comedians Helen Hong and Maria Shehata. Others focus on music; there is also a lighthearted political talk program co-hosted by Kozlowski called “Koz Effect.”
Most of the hosts pay the network for the chance to participate. In time, the network hopes to generate revenue by selling sponsorships. For example, a music store could sponsor a music-focused podcast. When that happens, Kozlowski said he will split the revenue with his hosts.
There are plenty of competitors in the podcasting world, but Kozlowski said his shows are noteworthy for booking high-profile guests. For example, musician Rick Springfield was scheduled for an appearance last week, and Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi is scheduled to make an appearance this week. Kozlowski offers some guests the dual publicity of appearing on the podcast as well as in his writings for the Pasadena newspaper. Shows can be heard on Radio Titan’s website or downloaded from iTunes.
Kozlowski has been podcasting since 2007 and launched the network in 2012. In a dispute over spending last year, Kozlowski split with two of his co-founders. The partners disbanded and Radio Titans moved out of its Hollywood studio and went off the air for about a half-year.
Radio Titans was reborn after Kozlowski met his new partner, Jake Bowman, through a posting on Facebook in September. The two are 50-50 partners and Bowman is heading the effort to shore up sponsors.
In a twist on the trend of professional media partnering with journalism schools to produce news content, last week USA Today Sports Media Group announced it is working with the USC Marshall School of Business on a sports business website called Fields of Green.
The site features blog posts, columns, analysis and sports business stories written by business school students, sports industry executives and other experts in the sports field.
The first story, posted last week, examines the $3 billion federal tax contribution that will be paid by professional athletes this year. It was written by David Carter, director of the downtown Los Angeles Sports Business Institute near the USC campus.
Steve Henson, senior editor at USA Today Sports in Los Angeles, said the site offers something lacking on other sites.
“In terms of blogging through the lens of sports business, there is nothing else that is doing what we’re doing,” Henson said.
Another difference is that the Fields of Green site is free to readers, while other competitors, such as the Sports Business Journal, require a subscription.
It’s the latest example of how publications are getting more of their content from university partnerships. For example, newspapers in Kansas have been publishing copy produced by students at the University of Kansas. But the Fields of Green arrangement is unusual in part because it is a partnership with a business school rather than a journalism school.
The site has a paid staff of four, including Carter. Other contributors are unpaid.
But Henson said the partnership wasn’t about getting access to cheap content, it was about building on the contacts of Carter and others to bring in high-level contributors. The site also gives students and other bloggers a larger platform for their writing. USA Today’s sports division reaches 46 million readers a month, according to the company.
Comings and Goings
Seton Kim was hired as creative director at creative agency Troika of Hollywood. … David Wisnia was named president of business operations at TV Guide Network.
Staff reporter Jonathan Polakoff can be reached at email@example.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 226.
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