TIME radio

Family of Adnan Syed Reacts to ‘Serial’ Podcast

"I wake up as soon as they put it on," his brother says

Millions have become obsessed with a 15-year-old murder case thanks to NPR’s “Serial,” a podcast from the team behind “This American Life” that explores a real-life mystery week-by-week. At the center of the case is Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee when he was still in high school, and has been in prison ever since.

Though Adnan plays an important role on the podcast and is interviewed in almost every episode, his family has refrained from publicly commenting on the show, until now. Adnan’s brother, Yusef Syed, spoke to CBS This Morning about Serial for the first time Thursday.

MORE: Serial: Sarah Koening On the Addictive New Podcast fromThis American Life

“I wake up as soon as they put it on,” he said. “Some days I’ll be like, ‘This is a really great episode,’ and some days I’ll feel down and depressed.” Yusef Syed, who with the help of a lawyer friend, originally reached out to “This American Life” journalist and “Serial” host Sarah Koening about his brother’s story, said he’s glad that the show has brought new attention to his brother’s conviction. The Innocence Project, a nonprofit group dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people, has since taken on Adnan’s case.

But Yusef also was careful to remind rabid fans of the show who are sharing theories on Reddit and attempting to solve the mystery themselves that “there’s a real girl who died.”

Hae Min Lee’s family has not responded to Koenig’s request for interviews on the show and has yet to comment on the podcast publicly. One man on Reddit, claiming to be Lee’s brother, said that he has not told his parents about the podcast.

[CBS]

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: November 19

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Teach data literacy in elementary school.

By Mohana Ravindranath in the Washington Post

2. A new app lets kids explore the life and living conditions of other children around the world.

By Laura Bliss in CityLab

3. Politics inside Yemen — once a reliable U.S. ally and success story in the war on terror — has pushed the nation out of our influence.

By Adam Baron in Defense One

4. When it comes to science and health news, radio might save journalism.

By Anna Clark in Columbia Journalism Review

5. Rooftop solar power could beat the price of coal in two years — if utilities don’t shut it down.

By Lucas Mearian in ComputerWorld

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME remembrance

How Tom Magliozzi Explained the Reason for Car Talk

Car Talk
Ray Magliozzi, left, and Tom Magliozzi, hosts of National Public Radio's Car Talk, in Cambridge, Mass. on June 19, 2008. Charles Krupa—AP

In 2000, the late NPR host and his brother spoke to TIME's Joel Stein

Tom Magliozzi, the co-host of NPR’s Car Talk who died Monday at 77, wasn’t always a radio guru.

Both he and his brother Ray, his co-host, went to MIT; before 1973, when they opened the garage that first got them invited to talk about cars on the radio, he was an engineer.

But in 2000, when the Magliozzis spoke to TIME’s Joel Stein about a book released that year, they explained that they decided back in the 1970s to pay ample attention to their “work-to-play ratio,” as Ray phrased it.

They could have made more money than they did, they could have been more famous — though just barely, considering Car Talk‘s reach — and they could have done something more prestigious, but they didn’t want to.

Their dedication to the accessible, nothing-fancy ethos was, they explained, part of the reason why they did a radio show about cars in the first place:

Cars, they insist, bond all Americans. “We can do a show about cars because everybody has cars,” Tom explains, straightening his Home Depot hat and throwing his backpack over his shoulder. “We couldn’t do a show called Brain Talk.”

Read the full article, free of charge, here in TIME’s archives: Four-Wheel Expertise

TIME remembrance

Peter Sagal Remembers ‘Car Talk’ Host Tom Magliozzi

Ray Magliozzi; Tom Magliozi
Brothers Ray, left, and Tom Magliozzi, co-hosts of National Public Radio's Car Talk, pose for a photo in Cambridge, Mass on June 19, 2008. Charles Krupa—AP

Magliozzi, one half of public radio's famous 'Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers,' died Monday aged 77. His NPR colleague remembers a career filled with laughter

I met Tom Magliozzi along with his brother Ray for the first time at a public radio convention in Orlando, Fla. in 2000, when they had been convinced to leave their comfortable homes in Their Fair City (“Cambridge, Mah”) with the promise of a pool to sit next to and the obligation to do nothing. I said something that made them both laugh, uproariously, and felt cocky for a second until I realized that everything made them laugh uproariously.

That was Tom’s great gift. All that raucous, distinctive laughter—who knew you could laugh with a Boston accent?—was genuine. Whether he was laughing at his brother or a caller with a car problem or his own silly jokes, his pleasure was too immense to be kept private. Everybody knows that Car Talk wasn’t about cars. It was about Tommy Magliozzi and his little brother Ray, as they continued their life-long refusal to take each other, themselves, or anything else seriously. And by sheer force of will the self-regarding gray edifice known as public radio eventually did the same.

Tom was opinionated, passionate, and occasionally profane, but very much the man he seemed to be on air. He leaves behind his brother and a large family, but also millions of listeners he convinced—if only for an hour a week—to just relax and enjoy themselves as much as he did.

Peter Sagal is the host of NPR’s weekly news quiz ‘Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!’

TIME obituary

Co-Host of NPR’s ‘Car Talk’ Dies at 77

Tom Magliozzi;Ray Magliozzi
From Left: Ray Magliozzi and Tom Magliozzi car mechanics and radio talk show hosts for the show, Car Talk on WBUR-FM National Public Radio. Richard Howard—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Known as one half of "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers"

Tom Magliozzi, one of the hosts of NPR’s Car Talk, has died at 77 years old.

The radio host, known for his booming laughter, died from complications from Alzheimer’s disease, NPR reports.

Magliozzi and his brother, Ray, became famous public radio personalities as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers” on the weekly show Car Talk, which went national in 1987.

After graduating from MIT, where his brother also went, Magliozzi worked as an engineer, a college professor and a mechanic. He got into radio after a local station started putting together a panel of mechanics for a show. He was the only one who showed up but was such a hit that he was invited back (and brought his brother, who is twelve years his junior, with him).

Car Talk has been airing archived shows since 2012, when the brothers retired.

[NPR]

TIME radio

Serial: Sarah Koening On the Addictive New Podcast from This American Life

Sarah Koenig, host and executive producer of Serial Meredith Heuer

The host and executive producer takes TIME behind the scenes of Serial

The facts are these: Hae Min Lee was killed on January 13, 1999. Her ex-boyfriend and fellow high school student, Adnan Syed, was convicted of the murder, and sentenced to life in prison.

The tragedy is undisputed. The conviction is not.

Lee’s murder and Syed’s guilt or innocence are the mysteries that lie at the heart of Serial, a new documentary podcast series hosted by Sarah Koenig. Every Thursday, Koenig unravels the clues, guiding listeners through hours of interviews, cell phone records, and court room transcripts, even tracking down an alibi witness that was never called to the stand in Syed’s defense. Serial is the first spinoff from the much-loved This American Life radio show, where Koenig serves as a producer. But instead of covering multiple stories in a single episode, Serial goes deep on a single story —Lee and Syed’s story. Each week, more evidence is unfurled, more clues hashed over, and more witnesses are introduced. The result is a compelling, if not addictive, series.

Not that Koenig is convinced that Syed was wrongfully convicted. She just isn’t sure — so she’s using the podcast to try and find answers. “I wouldn’t have started looking into this case if I didn’t have questions about it. If it seemed obvious he was guilty, I wouldn’t have invested all this time and resources. But I didn’t definitely think he was innocent, either,” says Koenig. “There’s definitely something here that I don’t understand, and that the public never got to hear. Something is missing in this story. Something’s not quite right.”

Koenig got involved in the story when Rabia Chaudry, a friend of the Syed family, wrote her a letter asking for assistance. “Rabia Chaudry came to me when I had written about this attorney who had been disbarred — the same lawyer who represented Adnan — and she wanted me to look at his case. The reasoning was that if the lawyer was disbarred, maybe she had screwed up the case.”

According to the podcast, Chaudry had a hard time believing the conviction, because Syed was a good kid. He kept up his grades and ran on the track team; he was well-liked by the community and a practicing Muslim. Syed was convicted almost exclusively on the testimony of a one-time friend and some cell phone records that may or may not corroborate his story. There was no physical evidence at all. It was hard for Chaudry to accept that Syed would have committed the brutal murder of his one-time girlfriend in the middle of the day in a Best Buy parking lot, then bury her body in one of Baltimore’s notorious dumping grounds. It was easier to believe the disbarred attorney, who has since passed away, had failed in her job.

Koenig, though, isn’t sure that’s the case. “It was flawed counsel,” says Koenig. “But I don’t think he got a sh–ty lawyer. She just made some mistakes.”

Among those mistakes is what Koenig calls “the Asia thing,” where Syed’s attorney didn’t talk to a witness who could have given Syed an alibi for the time of the murder. That, in Koenig’s opinion, is “an out-and-out screw-up”.

“That’s just an error. I don’t see the logic in not talking to an alibi witness, even if you talk to her and say, ‘This isn’t going to work’ or ‘This isn’t true’ or whatever. But failing to contact her? That just seems like she just screwed up to me,” says Koenig.

“The other thing, which we’re going to get to — in an episode that’s not yet written— is that [Syed's attorney] just concentrated her rigor in the wrong places in this case. It’s not that she was napping during testimony or high on cocaine — she was a good hardworking attorney who made tactical errors in addition to a few out-and-out screw-ups,” says Koenig. “She was a really well-respected attorney! She had a great reputation, and it was earned. There are parts of the trial where you’re just like, ‘Man, she is just like a pit bull on this thing!’ She’s pushing and pushing and pushing. She’s objecting where she should and getting things on the record. She’s working hard.”

Still, Koenig says: “If Adnan is innocent, though, she would have a lot to answer for. If he’s guilty, well, that’s a different question.”

Koenig hopes that listeners will get to know Lee more than they do now, but for now, she won’t focus on her. “It’s an upsetting story. A girl was murdered and it’s horrible,” says Koenig. “Getting people to talk to me about that and be honest with me about that is hard. For a lot of these people, even those not directly involved, this was the defining horror of their lives. It’s hard for them.”

“The level of stress and anxiety and discomfort that I have lived with for the last year just thinking about this story, I don’t understand how [criminal lawyers] do it all the time,” says Koenig. “If I’ve learned nothing else, I’m glad I’m not a lawyer.”

One of the most compelling aspects of Serial is that it’s simply unclear whether justice was served in this case. While people are used to hearing stories like this end with the release of an innocent man, Syed might be guilty. After all, a jury convicted him and, according to the podcast, the jury came to their verdict fairly quickly. Still, is Koenig hoping to free an innocent man? “That’s hard,” says Koening. “It would be great to do a story and get somebody who is innocent out of jail. That’s a wonderful thing. That said, I don’t think that’s necessarily what I’ve got here. At all.”

The uncertainty stems from the fact that Koenig and her other producers are still reporting the story. “We’re still working on it! We’re still working on the episode that comes out in two days! We’re in the thick of it,” says Koenig. “I’m not that far ahead of you right now.” The podcast is such a work in progress, Koenig says, that they don’t even know for how long the show will run. “We’re thinking in the realm of a dozen, but that could change. We’ve written five so far.”

For Koenig, who has been a producer at This American Life for ten years, releasing a story a chapter at a time has been a steep learning curve. “Structuring the arc of the season before you know how the story ends is very challenging,” says Koenig. “I also did not realize how vulnerable it can make you to release your work product before your reporting is finished. I had not anticipated that element.”

Despite the difficulties, Koenig and her team plan on continuing the podcast. “If I don’t plotz first, the idea is to do another story next year,” laughs Koenig. “We want to keep it going and the idea is that we will, if people seem interested in it.”

People are definitely interested. Serial was the number one podcast on iTunes two weeks before the first episode even premiered. “I was very surprised. Very, very surprised,” says Koenig. “I’ve been intrigued by a lot of stories in my career, but I think a ton of the interest is because this is a crime. It’s a murder case. This sounds naïve, but I didn’t think that would be a thing. I didn’t see it.”

But before starting to work on next year’s story, which she has not chosen yet, Koenig hopes to find some answers about this one. She wants to find out whether justice was served — and whether Lee’s killer is behind bars or still out there. “I am hopeful that I will figure it out one way or the other,” says Koenig. “I may have to give that up along the way, but today, I’m hopeful.”

TIME radio

Radio Host Casey Kasem’s Body Missing, Says Daughter’s Lawyer

Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem poses for photographers after receiving the Radio Icon award during The 2003 Radio Music Awards at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Oct. 27, 2003. Eric Jamison—AP

Wife and daughters embroiled in debate over his care

A judge has placed a restraining order on Casey Kasem’s wife, preventing her from cremating the famous radio host’s remains, but it’s unclear where they remains are.

The restraining order was granted on the behest of Kerri Kasem, the personality’s daughter, who asked a judge to ensure Kasem’s body was held in cold storage and not cremated before an autopsy was completed.

But when Kerry Kasem’s lawyer went to a Tacoma, Washington, funeral home with a copy of the restraining order, he was told the funeral home no longer had Kasem’s remains. Gaffney Funeral Home & Cremation Services confirmed that Kasem’s body was no longer there.

“They said they could not disclose where he had gone or where he would end up,” Kerry Kasem’s lawyer, Scott Winship, told People.

Kasem was the radio host of “American Top 40″ and voice of animated television characters like Scooby-Doo’s sidekick Shaggy. He died at age 82 on June 15 at a hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington. He was suffering from dementia and his death followed a lengthy debate over his care between his wife and his three children from his first marriage.

[People]

TIME remembrance

Elvis Duran’s Top Casey Kasem Memory

Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem on Nov. 10, 2003, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Chris Polk / FilmMagic / Getty Images

The Morning Show host discusses the influence of Casey Kasem, who died June 15 at 82

I never met Casey Kasem, but my strongest memory of him is from when I started off in radio. I was 14 years old, growing up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and I was hired to “board-op” American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. Growing up listening to AT40 made me want to get into radio — but when I had to produce the sound of his show on the radio station, I got to know him even better.

They would deliver the American Top 40 show to the station on vinyl albums. I would start at the beginning, he would count down and then he would take a commercial break, and I was the one who put the commercials on. When the commercials were over, I would push the button again and he would start back. One time — it would have been 1980 or 1979 — I went to a commercial break and I came back and put the wrong album on and went directly to the Number 1 song. That’s when I realized the power of Casey Kasem. I realized if I made a mistake how many people were affected by it and how many people hated me instantly, because they would all call and complain.

He was so important for people coming up in the ranks of radio, to understand that connection between the person on the microphone at the station and the person listening. The way Casey told stories with his long-distance dedications and the way he described how these artists were doing everything they could to get their songs to go up the chart, it was listening to a friend tell a story every time he opened his microphone. That’s the connection we still try to maintain every day. That’s what keeps radio alive. — as told to Lily Rothman

Elvis Duran is host of the nationally syndicated Elvis Duran and the Morning Show

Read more about Casey Kasem in this week’s issue of TIME

TIME remembrance

Why Casey Kasem Mattered

Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem poses for a publicity still circa 1990 in Los Angeles, Calif. Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images

During a tumultuous time, Kasem—who died June 15 at 82—made music less divisive

Casey Kasem was one of the most important disc-jockeys in the history of radio. While Alan Freed is often credited with the rowdy rise of rock ‘n’ roll in the mid 1950s and Tom Donahue with the creation of free-form FM radio in the ‘60s, Kasem’s contribution gently defied the increasingly divisive changes in radio that marked the 1970s. From its first broadcast in 1970, his “America’s Top 40” counted down hit songs in a dizzyingly diverse array of styles. What kept it all together was Kasem himself—that distinctive voice and genial, charmingly earnest on-air persona. As Dick Clark did on television, Kasem helped bring an often splintered nation together around pop music.

Grounded in 1950s and ‘60s regional AM radio, Kasem’s style seemed old school the day he emerged on the national scene. But Kasem was more than a DJ: he was a host. Not long after families had gathered around the TV to watch Elvis or the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, Kasem brought the variety-show approach back to syndicated radio, broadcasting coast to coast. Unlike variety hosts of radio’s golden age in the 1930s and 40s (such as Bing Crosby), Casey did not have the artists available in the studio to provide a few words and the personal touch. Instead, Kasem cleverly emphasized artists’ personal lives with engaging facts and brief bios, adding tear-jerking dedications from listeners to the mix.

With such a wide stylistic range of songs in the countdown, there were always songs you didn’t like; nevertheless, you continued to listen. Who could tune out? What song would be number one? “As the numbers get smaller, the hits get bigger,” Casey would often tease. You felt like you knew the artists, the other listeners, and the optimistic, well-wishing master of ceremonies. This was more than a radio show: it was a gathering of friends. While Kasem also enjoyed a broad range of success as an announcer and voice actor, it is this work as radio host that has made its mark in history.

John Covach is Director of the University of Rochester Institute for Popular Music.

Read more about Casey Kasem in this week’s issue of TIME

TIME Music

No, Streaming Will Not Kill Your Radio

iHeartRadio
iHeartRadio

But just in case...

fortunelogo-blue
This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

Considering Internet radio has been around since 2000, you’d expect the market to have shaken out by now. But competition has actually become more fierce. Spotify has grown to 50 million users, with ten million of them paying to access the service each month. Pandora continues to grow with 250 million registered users; around 77 million are active. Apple made several big moves in the category, introducing iTunes Radio last year and buying Beats by Dre and its music streaming service for $3 billion last month. And last week, as expected, Amazon introduced its own competitor: Prime Music.

And then there’s iHeartRadio, the streaming music service owned by terrestrial giant Clear Channel. The company today announced it has crossed 50 million monthly active users.

That reach makes Clear Channel’s streaming offering a formidable competitor to Pandora, Spotify, Apple, and Amazon. But Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman is not as concerned with Internet radio as one might think. Digital radio makes a lot of noise, but only accounts for 10% of the overall radio market. (A market that, conveniently, is dominated by Clear Channel.)

“If it were not for the fact that radio is so large, you’d say, ‘Wow these are big numbers,’” Pittman tells Fortune. “There are one billion FM radios in the US and 160 million smartphones and 160 million PCs, so it’s still a subset of the FM marketplace.”

Pittman doesn’t believe streaming hours will overtake traditional radio in his lifetime. “Music collections always replace each other and radio always tends to be yet another choice,” he says. “Satellite didn’t kill FM. AM didn’t kill FM. (Streaming music) one more choice and one more device you can listen to the radio on.”

With that perspective, why would Clear Channel waste resources getting 50 million people to use a streaming service like iHeartRadio to begin with? The product draws resources from a number of Clear Channel’s businesses, including live shows, tech, operations and advertising. As Pandora’s investors know too well, it is not cheap to license music streaming rights from the record labels.

The short answer, Pittman says, is growth. He maintains that digital is an important growth area for the business, even if the $17 billion or so that advertisers spend on radio each year is slow to move over to the Web.

For the rest of the story, go to Fortune.com.

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