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entrepreneur’s notebook

Jim Russell has been named the new general manager of USC/Radio Marketplace Productions, which produces the daily business news program “Marketplace,” broadcast each weekday on 288 American Public Radio stations across the country.

Russell’s 30-year career in media has included stints in print, radio and television. For his work on developing the PBS show “Newton’s Apple,” he has won several awards, including an Emmy. Russell said he prefers working in radio because “it’s a medium of ideas. It’s kind of hard to think while watching TV.”

In his new job, Russell will head a 40-member staff of producers, anchors and support staff.

Russell is creator of “Marketplace,” which he designed in 1989 while serving as public-station manager at KTCA-TV in St. Paul, Minn. He said he wanted to give an irreverent spin to the usually dry subject of business.

His goal is to develop what he calls “a little empire of extensions of the Marketplace show,” he said. The first of these extensions is a weekly show called “The Savvy Traveler,” which started as a series of humorous travel segments on Marketplace.

He said “The Savvy Traveler” segments and show differentiate themselves from most other travel reportage in that they don’t treat destinations with kid gloves.

“If we get lousy service, we’ll skewer them,” Russell said.

Keeping in line with the “Marketplace” spirit, known for its irreverent approach to business news, “The Savvy Traveler” is scheduled to air segments on a late night golf course in Alaska, the land of the midnight sun, and another about a “beach” in Japan that is located inside an airplane hanger.

By Wade Daniels

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