One afternoon in 2004, Mikel Ellcessor walked into his boss’s office with a big idea.
At the time, he was the head of local content for New York public radio station WNYC. It was making all sorts of interesting shows, but connecting them with the right audience could be difficult. Distributing them outside of New York was complicated and time-consuming, and involved convincing a big group of people working at local public radio stations around the country that a new show was worth their time (and money). It was as if the people behind Parks and Recreation had to meet individually with someone at every TV station from Akron to Miami to Seattle just to get on your TV.
Ellcessor thought he’d found a solution: a crazy, fringe, Internet phenomenon called podcasting.