Shelby County Commission set to spend thousands on monthly podcast production

Updated: Aug. 26, 2019 at 9:46 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Commission is making plans to come to personal devices of those who are unable to make it downtown to the commission meetings causing big questions to arise.

Monday the commission decided the business of the meetings can come to you by a monthly podcast.

Commssion action 2.0 is the brainchild of former chairman Van Turner. The podcast is supposed to highlight the work the commission is doing.

“We want to reach as many constituents in this county as possible," said Turner. “It makes for a more transparent government, a more honest government and it makes for a more accessible government.”

Monday the commission approved a $109,800 contract for Larry Robinson with Kudzukian LLC to produce the Commission’s podcast.

Commissioner Mick Wright was the only “No” vote on the resolution who pointed out he launched his podcast three weeks ago using his cellphone and it didn’t cost him a dime.

“I think we can do better for the price, for me it’s not a matter of should we or shouldn’t we do it, but why does it have to cost like $2,000 dollars per hour," said Wright.

Wright says more should have been done to negotiate the price.

“I just don’t know if it’s a good deal for the county,” said Wright.

Turner believes these podcasts will be a higher quality than what you can get on your cellphone, plus he says it’s a time management issue as well.

“As an attorney and a father I don’t have time to develop my own podcast,” said Turner.

Turner says Kadzukian will also be doing a lot more than producing the chairman’s podcast but also recording town hall and commission meetings.

Robinson says the podcast has about 40 to 50,000 listeners, but that is without a marketing strategy. With dedicated funds to promote the podcast they hope to increase the number of listeners by 35% in 6 to 8 months.

“Mr. Robinson has a great company, locally owned, small business, he is a minority owned business,” said Turner.

The county has been working to increase the amount of business they do with minority and women-owned businesses.

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