Virginia Prescott

Host, Word of Mouth

Prior to joining NHPR, Virginia Prescott was editor and producer for the nationally syndicated programs On Point and Here & Now, produced at WBUR in Boston. Virginia grew up in New Hampshire, but began her radio career at WWOZ Radio in New Orleans. She moved to New York City and worked for the team behind NPR’s Peabody Award-winning Jazz from Lincoln Center series with Ed Bradley. Virginia then joined WNYC to launch the station’s website and oversee all its interactive media sites. Throughout her radio career, Virginia helped set up independent radio stations in developing regions in southern and West Africa. She has also trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the former Yugoslavia. She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University where she studied how broadcast media could spark dialogue and build community across terrestrial borders.

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Word of Mouth
1:11 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

How Selling Out On TV Became Indie Rock's Saving Grace

Credit millerfarm via Flickr Creative Commons

The relatively unknown song "Daylight" by Brooklyn-based band Matt and Kim was featured in a 2009 Bacardi commercial, and by the following year went gold, selling over 500 thousand copies and sweeping Matt and Kim into the mainstream. Not so long ago, selling your music to ad agencies was considered the lowest form of selling out, a sure-fire way to lose hard-core fans. Today many musicians see it as the only way to make a living. And fans, for the most part, seem to be turning a blind eye. 

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Word of Mouth
1:01 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

J.F.K.: A Second Son Made Into A President

Credit via Wikipedia Commons

  Fifty years after his death, the presidency, and character and memory of John F. Kennedy has been covered and re-covered and burnished in television specials, articles and at least one extraordinary radio special that you’ll be hearing tomorrow on NHPR. With each retrospective comes the revival of the Kennedy myths…pictures of the sprawling family with their giant smiles, privilege…and no holds barred ambition.

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Word of Mouth
2:27 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

The Most Memorable Ads Of The Past 35 Years

Where IS the beef?
Credit via adweek.com

In 1978, a message about a new word processing system went out to about 400 users of Arpa-net…that’s the U.S. Government sponsored progenitor of the World Wide Web.  It was the first example of what we now know too well as internet spam. In 1978, the mad men era was snuffing out its last cigarette, the seeds of celebrity endorsements were bursting open, and dawn was about to break on digital. That same year, Ad Week launched.  The publication is marking its 35th anniversary with a look at some pivotal, shocking and subtle moments in the advertising industry.  

David Griner is a contributing editor at AdWeek.

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Word of Mouth
1:55 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Class Of 2008: Emily Wienberg

Credit Courtesy Emily Wienberg

On September 15th, 2008, the financial services firm Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11.  The subprime mortgage crisis had been percolating for months by then, as had a global economic decline – but the bankruptcy of the nation’s fourth largest investment bank panicked Wall Street, evaporating liquidity markets, sending the economy sharply downward, and sparking the worst global recession since World War II – a crisis from which the world’s economy is still recovering.

As part of NHPR’s station-wide series “How We Work: Five Years Later,” Word of Mouth presents “The Class of 2008,” conversations with people who graduated from high school or college around the time of the global economic meltdown.

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Word of Mouth
1:50 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

What Would You Prefer, A Bonus Or A Raise? A Study Points To The Better Incentive

Credit dantegeek via Flickr Creative Commons

Do employees work harder when they are paid more?

A new study out of Harvard set out to answer that question and came away with some interesting conclusions. One, that employers should consider not just what they pay workers, but how. Offering cash bonuses increases employee productivity more than raises in  salaries, even if the amount of bump is exactly the same.   

Duncan Gilchrist is Ph.D. student studying business economics at Harvard, and one of the authors of the study. 

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Word of Mouth
1:40 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Caldecott Winner David Wiesner On His Latest Book, 'Mr. Wuffles'

Children’s book writer and illustrator David Wiesner is a three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal for most distinguished children’s picture book. His newest work is about a group of tiny extra-terrestial explorers, whose wee spaceship unwittingly becomes a plaything for a house cat named Mr. Wuffles. 

As with all of Wiesner’s books, Mr.Wuffles is nearly wordless, with dramatic visuals that propel readers from the plausible and everyday into the fantastical world of what could happen… 

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Word of Mouth
7:07 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Shedding Light On The 'Almost Depressed'

Credit Venturist via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s estimated that one in ten Americans show signs of depression, but in a society where mental illness is simultaneously taboo and overexposed, it’s easy to stick to a black-and-white label to describe mental health.

As part of the 'Almost Effect'  series from Harvard Health Publications, two instructors at Harvard teamed up to write a book on that uncomfortable gray area between well-being and chronic depression. It's called Almost Depressed. 

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Word of Mouth
10:57 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Why 'Employee Misclassification' Matters In New Hampshire

In 2010, then- New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed an executive order creating the Joint Task Force on Employee Misclassification Enforcement.  While it doesn’t sound like the most urgent unit, misclassification is a serious issue, costing employers, business owners and putting un-covered workers at risk. 

As part of NHPR’s week-long series 'How We Work: Five Years Later,' we’re digging into attitudes and policy towards work. Joining us to explain this issue is New Hampshire labor commissioner, Jim Craig, and Martin Jenkins, legal counsel for the D.O.L.

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Word of Mouth
10:30 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Creating Amazing Workplace Culture: Dyn's 'Culture-Con'

Just one of the employee-friendly spaces at Dyn, where the office also has a putting green, Skee-Ball, a ping pong table, and a farm-to-table cafe.
Credit Via Business NH Magazine

This week, we’re talking about work…what we do…and how our attitudes and expectations concerning work have fared under the long shadow of the 2008 financial crisis. Today, we’re taking advantage of some good timing. New Hampshire-based tech company Dyn is holding its third annual 'Culture-Con' tomorrow in its Manchester headquarters.

We talked with two participants in the gathering to talk how companies create workplace cultures that attract and engage and retain workers in meaningful and lasting ways, Dyn's COO, Gray Chynoweth, and Amanda Osmer of Grappone Automotive Group.

Note of disclosure: Grappone is an NHPR underwriter, and Gray Chynoweth serves on NHPR's Community Advisory Board.

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Word of Mouth
10:05 am
Tue November 19, 2013

How To Find Fulfilling Work

Credit MacMillan Publishers

Is there an adult out there who has not, in a moment of fatigue, insomnia, or on a particularly hard day at work, looked around at their life and asked, “Is this it? Is this what I want my life to be?”  Even people who have plenty of money and status and work in their industry of choice may find themselves fantasizing about a job that engages their spirit. A new book from the School of Life series sets out a practical guide to negotiating the myriad choices, overcoming the fear of change, and finding a career that has meaning. Roman Krznaric is a founding member of the school of life. He advises organizations from Oxfam to the UN on using empathy and conversation to create social change. He spoke to us from Oxford, England to talk about his new book How to Find Fulfilling Work.

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Word of Mouth
4:50 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

What Happens To The Trash The U.S. Ships Overseas?

Credit via shanghaiscrap.com

Chances are you came in contact with something made from recycled material today. A can of soda…the carpeting in your office building, or the smart phone that’s an arms length or less away. . They’re part of a swirling cycle of good made from old items and fed back into the production of new stuff. And the more we buy…the more we need to recycle. But where does all of that recycled material ultimately end up? Adam Minter is Shanghai correspondent for Bloomberg World View and a frequent contributor to The Atlantic and other publications. He’s followed the trail of trash and found that most of it ends up in China and India. He’s author of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade.

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Word of Mouth
2:21 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Dear Mr. Watterson: A Portrait Of Calvin And Hobbes Fans

Credit dearmrwatterson.com

Twenty-eight years ago today, artist Bill Watterson’s only syndicated comic strip hit newspapers for the first time, introducing readers to a rowdy  six-year old named Calvin, and his often hungry and always kindhearted companion, a stuffed tiger named Hobbes.  The strip quickly grew to become arguably the most popular comic of its era – but after ten years in print, the reclusive Watterson retired his pens and brushes, and retreated from the public eye. Now, almost thirty years later, adoring fans carry a nostalgic torch for the quiet subversion, unbridled joy, and beautifully rendered drawings of Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes.

Dear Mr. Watterson” is a new documentary film by director Joel Allen Schroeder that explores the enduring influence Calvin and Hobbes had on a generation of fans and artists. The movie is now out in select theaters and available on demand.

We also spoke with Tim Hulsizer, creator of the Calvin and Hobbes Fan Website.

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Word of Mouth
1:04 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Class Of 2008: Jessica O'Hare

Credit Courtesy Jessica O'Hare

On September 15th, 2008, the financial services firm Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11.  The subprime mortgage crisis had been percolating for months by then, as had a global economic decline – but the bankruptcy of the nation’s fourth largest investment bank panicked Wall Street, evaporating liquidity markets, sending the economy sharply downward, and sparking the worst global recession since World War II – a crisis from which the world’s economy is still recovering.

As part of NHPR’s station-wide series “How We Work: Five Years Later,” Word of Mouth presents “The Class of 2008,” conversations with people who graduated from high school or college around the time of the global economic meltdown.

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Word of Mouth
11:28 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Would You Prefer: A Cash Bonus Or The Equivalent Amount As A Pay Raise?

For our contribution to the station wide Work Series next week, we have a few segments in store for you. Including an interview with the co-author of a study that looked at what was more likely to increase worker motivation: cash bonuses or salary raises.

We want to know what you think. Which would you prefer? A cash bonus or an equivalent bump in your annual salary? Would a lump sum light your fire more than an increase in your paycheck. Weigh in on the Word of Mouth Listener Line: 603.223.2448

Remember, we reserve the right to use your message on the air. Thanks for listening!

Word of Mouth
10:50 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Word Of Mouth 11.16.2013

Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

Not sure how you're going to muster the energy to rake another pile of leaves this weekend? Let us make the chore a little easier by distracting you with a solid hour of public radio encouragement. The Word of Mouth Saturday show is carefully designed to take you on a sound odyssey that's perfect even if you decide to forgo the leaf raking for another day.

On this week's show:

  • Please don't send shoes: Jessica Alexander makes the case for sending money instead of food or clothing when disaster strikes.
  • Why is Sweden so good at pop music? Nolan Feeney outlines the many reasons Sweden is a country of hit makers. We dare you to not get "The Sign" stuck in your head.
  • Talking about death: It's not an easy subject, but a new Showtime series, "Time of Death" approaches the taboo with unflinching realism. Jaweed Kaleem from the Huffington Post, and Miggi Hood, co-executive producer of the series join us to talk about death.
  • The Warren Commission 50 years later. Justice Richard Mosk was a 23-year-old attorney when he became the youngest member of the commission established by President Johnson to investigate the murder of JFK and his assassin. He tells us about the commission and why conspiracy theories can be harmful.

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