PRX Remix Celebrates 10 Years of Podcasts on Public Radio

Remix was one of the first to air podcasts on satellite and broadcast radio

Genevieve Sponsler
Sep 23 · 5 min read
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One stream. Endless stories. PRX Remix is our 24/7 channel of the best stories and podcasts handpicked from independent creators.

Happy birthday to us, and a big thank-you to our stations and producers!

Let’s take some time to celebrate. PRX Remix was one of the first (if not the first — let us just claim it on our b-day!) to air podcasts on satellite and broadcast radio. We also feature short stories that aren’t heard anywhere else. There’s no schedule, and there isn’t supposed to be. It’s all about surprise.

Andrew Kuklewicz, Carl Scott, Roman Mars, and George Capalbo doing some Remix planning in 2009

PRX Remix launched on SiriusXM satellite radio back in 2009 on the easiest channel to remember, 123. It was a safe, regulation-free way (we still love you, FCC) to try something weird. And it was a hit! So we thought… what if we brought this weird hit to public radio, too?

Well, Spokane Public Radio in Washington State believed in us enough to give us our own station, KPBZ. When it launched in Sept. 2010, we were thrilled, and had no idea where this would all lead…

It’s 2020, and we’re on the air from Alaska to Antarctica

PRX Remix is on nearly 40 public radio stations. We went on the air at McMurdo Station in Antarctica earlier this year, which we’re feeling very cool about.

Bad freezing-weather puns aside, we truly value our station partners and geographic reach. We are proud to be both in big cities and small markets that serve rural and remote populations. To us, “small” isn’t small — it means we are serving the whole country and making public media more public.

We have broadcast work by over 1,000 audio creators

We have aired everything from big-name podcasts like “99% Invisible” to pieces by those currently serving in the military, personal essays, and weird sounds.

We air work by students who just produced their first audio pieces, and we play them alongside established shows.

Thank you to all 1,080 of you.

We have dedicated listeners

Our listeners go on a journey with us. They know that even if something is not their favorite, they’ll still hear and maybe learn something new. And if we truly succeed, empathy for people different than ourselves is the ultimate goal.

We get so many lovely notes from listeners. Here are two of our favorites:

I’m an over the road truck driver. I have a lot of time to listen to the radio… If you saw me you wouldn’t guess I listen to this kind of stuff. You would just assume I’m a big mean guy… But I have this side that I don’t tell people about. My first thought about your station was why am I listening to this, why would I care? But the more I listened to things that I realize it’s pretty interesting. It’s a change of pace from listening to music. I got a lot of time to listen to stuff while I drive and the stories keep me awake. Especially late at night driving there’s nobody out there.” — Austin, May 2017

I just had to give y’all a shout-out and say a big, fat THANK YOU to the remix crew for keeping me sane during these really insane times. I am a visiting nurse and, armed with a fancy new subscription to Sirius XM, now a big-time fan of PRX Remix. I can’t even list all the incredible radio I’ve heard in the past few months, but I will say that especially now that I’m out on the road almost entirely by myself, it is truly a lifeline.” — A.B. in Boston, March 2020

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We’re 10, but still learning

We are intentional about diversity

In 2018, we started tracking monthly numbers of pieces produced or hosted by women and people of color. To start in a simple way that a small staff (myself and Ray Pang) could manage, we created a simple spreadsheet: 1 for yes, 0 for no for each category. And we set goals: the first year, it was to at least match the United States population — 50 percent women and 40 percent POC. The next year, we set our goal to at least 50 percent of both, monthly.

Since the beginning of 2020, we’ve uploaded over 70 hours of audio that highlights work by and about people of color, which represents over 58 percent of all new content in PRX Remix. We also track geographic diversity (to make sure we feature pieces not created in big coastal cities), age, and other special categories like students. We know all creators are more than these identifiers, but we’ve found this really helpful to make sure we are open to the range of human experience in this country.

We are a service

Beyond just being a unique listening experience, PRX Remix is part of PRX’s mission to serve audio creators by getting their work to listeners. The non-stop mixtape format of PRX Remix allows us to air pieces that are different lengths or weirder formats than other things on public radio.

Producers have always been and still are welcome to submit their work to us.

We’ve updated our tech and… we’re FREE!

For listeners, we’re now available via smart speaker. (Hint: say “Alexa, play PRX Remix on TuneIn.”)

And for our stations, both the weekly one-hour version of PRX Remix (called Remix Select) and our 24/7 stream (you can air anything from one hour a day to the full 24 hours) are available via automated delivery. That’s the same service that big shows like “This American Life” and “Snap Judgment” use. What that means for stations is it’s easy to subscribe, get the audio delivered to your FTP, and… the best part…

PRX Remix is 100% free to stations.

Keep Listening

PRX Remix has grown so much in the last 10 years that it makes me even more excited to see what’s in store for the next decade. You can listen to PRX Remix online on TuneIn, at prx.mx, on your smart speaker via TuneIn, anytime on Sirius XM 123, or on a public radio station near you.

Post-Roll Shoutouts. Thank you…

  • Jake Shapiro, John Barth, Andrew Kuklewicz, and Kerri Hoffman at PRX for giving PRX Remix life
  • Roman Mars, the first producer of PRX Remix
  • George Capalbo, developer of the Backbone software that we use to create the hours of content
  • Past PRX Remix Curators: Ray Pang, Erika Lantz, Emily Corwin, Josh Swartz, Carl Scott, Rene Dongo

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