So after hearing about a singer/songwriter Bon Iver on NPR this morning, I decided to check out NPR’s music website to, as advised, hear more. I was utterly flummoxed to then see that the music was sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon. Seriously. I watched a full sized ad for Pabst Blue Ribbon before listening to something on NPR.

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NPR has been advertising free in theory only for a long time, so I guess I shouldn’t be shocked. I can name longstanding corporate sponsors of NPR off the top of my head. And I’ve actually long held the belief that they should just come to grips with reality and drop the pretense anyway. But it was nonetheless jarring to realize that my experience listening to a segment on NPR’s website wasn’t different in any meaningful way from watching a show on NBC’s website.

But then again, this is the group that fired it’s CEO because they were afraid his digital initiatives (podcasts and such) where taking away listeners, while at the same time celebrating the fact that it’s listenership is at an all time high. This is what happens when you let hippies run a business.

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