WASHINGTON (March 16, 2010)—National Geographic Entertainment today named United Stations Radio Networks Inc. (USRN) distributor of National Geographic’s network of radio programming, beginning April 3, 2010. The new collaboration adds “National Geographic Weekend” and “National Geographic Environment Minutes” to USRN’s lineup of information and talk radio programming. USRN, an independent leader in the creation and marketing of network radio programming, will handle all network functions, including affiliate relations and national ad sales for the programs.
Now in its third year, “National Geographic Weekend” — a weekly, two-hour radio program targeting family audiences and hosted by seasoned reporter and world adventurer Boyd Matson — is a virtual campfire, where radio listeners share the exhilaration of being in the field with explorers and scientists working in the farthest corners of the globe. Matson conducts interviews both in-studio and from locations around the world. The series, produced by National Geographic, taps the world’s great storytellers, granting rare one-on-one access to National Geographic explorers, photographers, writers, editors, filmmakers and adventurers, and also features scientists and researchers from leading conservation organizations. “National Geographic Weekend” feeds Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET and is available throughout the weekend. Listeners can hear archived shows at www.ngweekend.com.
The short-form “National Geographic Environment Minutes” are one-minute interstitial radio segments focusing on science and environment news. Quick, fun, entertaining stories about everything from the world’s largest snake to ancient fossil discoveries, “National Geographic Environment Minutes” are a companion to “National Geographic Weekend,” often featuring National Geographic explorers and stories.
“United Stations, one of the country’s top radio networks, is the ideal distribution channel for National Geographic’s radio programs,” said Mark Bauman, executive vice president, National Geographic Digital Studio, and vice president, media strategy, National Geographic Mission Programs. “USRN’s far-reaching, diverse and devoted listener base will continue to build, strengthen and expand the reach of ‘NG Weekend’ and ‘NG Environment Minutes’ across the country and help spread our goal of inspiring people to care about the planet.”
“National Geographic is a well-established and high-quality brand that we are proud to be associated with in the radio space. United Stations Radio Networks plans to add new affiliates and sponsors for these two existing radio programs as well as work with National Geographic to develop new national radio programming from their existing channel offerings and their extensive archives,” said Jim Higgins, USRN president and COO.
Matson brings more than 30 years of journalistic experience to “National Geographic Weekend.” He has traveled on assignment to all seven continents, participated in high-adrenaline adventures and witnessed amazing natural history and anthropology events. He has reported from Everest base camp, from the ocean bottom while using “re-breathing” scuba gear and feeding sharks, and from an ultralight aircraft while teaching rare whooping cranes to migrate from Wisconsin to Florida.
Matson previously served as host of the public television series “Wild Chronicles” and as longtime host of the award-winning series “National Geographic EXPLORER,” both produced by National Geographic Television. Before coming to National Geographic, Matson held several prominent television posts: co-anchor of “World News Now” (ABC); host of “The Real Story” for CNBC; correspondent for “Real Life With Jane Pauley”; co-anchor and weekly correspondent for “USA Today On TV”; co-anchor of “Sunday Today” (NBC); and senior correspondent for “Today” (NBC). In addition to his work on “National Geographic Weekend,” Matson writes a monthly travel column for National Geographic Traveler magazine, contributes to the Web series “Boyd Matson’s Wild Chronicles” and serves as a spokesperson for the National Geographic Society.
About National Geographic Entertainment
National Geographic Entertainment (NGE) combines into a single operating group National Geographic’s Cinema Ventures, Feature Films, Kids Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Music & Radio business units. NGE is part of National Geographic Global Media, which brings together all of National Geographic’s editorial platforms to streamline collaboration and further support the Society’s mission. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” National Geographic works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than
375 million people worldwide each month through magazines, books, digital media, and television, radio, music and film. It funds more than 250 scientific research, exploration and conservation projects each year and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.
About United Stations Radio Networks Inc.
United Stations Radio Networks Inc. is America’s leading independently owned and operated radio network. USRN currently produces and distributes dozens of format-specific programs and services accounting for nearly 5,000 affiliations with commercial radio stations across the country. The New York-based company maintains programming, sales and affiliate marketing offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Washington and Nashville. USRN was founded in 1994 by radio pioneers Dick Clark and Nick Verbitsky.