WGBH’s Innovation Hub is going national

"radio debian" by Alosh Bennett
"radio debian" by Alosh Bennett

Kara Miller launched Innovation Hub, WGBH’s weekly public radio show about tech and innovation, in 2011 after realizing that she could expand a segment she was doing for the WGBH show Greater Boston. As she was doing research for the segment, she noticed a growing segment of people who were eschewing traditional career paths to set out on their own, starting new companies. 

After getting the OK from WGBH and starting the new radio show, something interesting happened. Innovation Hub took off.

This weekend, the show is going national.

On Saturday, Innovation Hub will be distributed for the first time to a network over 750 public radio stations through Public Radio International. The first national broadcast will feature Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist; Jason Fried, the founder and chief executive of BaseCamp; and Don Peck, the deputy editor of The Atlantic.

Innovation Hub is one of a few public radio broadcasts covering the world of technology and innovation. As such, the show has been able to attract some of the biggest names at the forefront on innovation in fields such as education, healthcare, technology, and entertainment.

The quality of guests is what host Miller believes helped the quick success of the program. Early on, the show featured thought leaders like Harvard’s Clay Christensen, David Pogue, Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, political philosopher Michael Sandel, and theoretical physicist Brian Greene.

“As we kept doing it,” Miller explained, “we  started seeing that the show was getting listened to a ton. Then we realized that there was no other radio show that speaks about innovation. There was a natural hunger for this both in Boston, and, as it turns out, nationally.”

The show also become very popular on iTunes and through other online media resources; Innovation Hub now has more than 800,000 followers on SoundCloud.

“I have no idea how that happened,” Miller said. “The people we talk to are the people who are shaping the world, they are shaping healthcare and education, entertainment and social media; it doesn’t get any better.”

Dennis Keohane was a Senior Staff Writer for BetaBoston.
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