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David Cohn

Welcome to the 29th episode of “The Mediatwits,” the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift’s Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali. This week we get back from the Thanksgiving holiday and find some interesting mergers happening. First, there’s the crowdfunding site Spot.us being acquired by American Public Media (APM) and its Public Insight Network. Guests David Cohn, founder of Spot.us, and Joaquin Alvarado of APM talk about the acquisition and what it means for Spot.us and the future of public media.

Then came news that billionaire Warren Buffett had bought his hometown newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald, for $150 million, as well as some Nebraska papers for $50 million more. Has he gone crazy, or is he crazy like a fox? And finally an HBO exec says they won’t be offering up a digital-only package of content directly to people who have cut the cord to cable. But how will that play to the increasing number of folks who don’t even have TV sets, and get their entertainment via streaming services or websites?

Check it out!


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Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

Here are some highlighted topics from the show:


1:30: Rafat visits the Ignition conference in New York

3:20: Rundown of topics on the show

Spot.us acquired by American Public Media

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Joaquin Alvarado

4:40: Crowdfunding pioneer moves to APM

5:20: Special guests David Cohn and Joaquin Alvarado

7:20: Cohn: Takes 10% of donations, plus sponsorships

9:00: Alvarado: Spot.us helps bring strong freelancers to newsrooms

12:30: Alvarado: Trust and community support important to public media

15:20: PRX worked with Spot.us in a pilot partnership

16:30: Cohn will remain as a contractor for APM

Buffett buys newspaper

17:30: Buffett buys Omaha World-Herald for $150 million

19:00: Mark: Not all newspapers are screwed

HBO won’t cater to cord-cutters

21:40: Rafat: HBO now on Roku box, but requires cable subscription

23:00: Mark: People will pay a reasonable amount for shows, but don’t want cable

More Reading

Spot.us Merges with Public Insight Network at Idea Lab

Spot.us Merges With The Public Insight Network at 10,000 Words

American Public Media Acquires Journalism Crowdfunding Service at Adweek

American Public Media’s Public Insight Network

Oracle of Omaha Buys His Hometown Paper at PaidContent

Buffett buys a newspaper. Time to invest in news? at Christian Science Monitor

HBO To Cord Cutters: You’ll Never See Our Shows at PaidContent

For first time in history, TV ownership declines at Kansas City Star

TVs or not TVs: Sets declining at NY Post

Weekly Poll

Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about what you think about cutting the cord to cable:

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+