An Internet Radio Show Gains Traction

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Launched in November 2004, Poor Richard's Shoebox on VoiceAmerica.com has grown to 170,000 listeners monthly, worldwide.

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An internet radio show with a Colonial twist is extended from pilot-phase production to signing a contract to complete its first full year of production, thanks to a listenership that has grown to 170,000 monthly. Poor Richard's Shoebox airs live on Mondays, 7AM Pacific, on VoiceAmerica.com. The show covers taxes and personal finance.

The title reflects two key elements of the show. "Poor Richard" refers to Benjamin Franklin, whose authbiography used to be read as an inspiration and blueprint for seeking a better life in America. The "Shoebox" refers to the phenomenon of harried taxpayers who come into offices of financial professionals carrying shoeboxes of records in disarray, often at the height of the tax season. So they are charged "nuisance fees" for the work of getting organized.

Host Joseph Dunphy has interviewed many distinguished authors and experts. Arun Muralidhar, co-author of "A Proposal for Social Security" with Nobel-prize winner Franco Modigliani, pointed out a way to save government guarantees in the system. Donna LaValley, co-author of "J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2005," detailed military benefits for troops returning from overseas. Ann-Marie Toliver, author of "Homeowner's Guide to Disaster Tax Relief," explained tax breaks useful to hurricane victims, focusing on Florida's aftermath, but still relevant in light of Hurricane Katrina's damage.

Strong content has helped boost listeners per average-quarter-hour (AQH) to 9,228, in a range between the third and fourth-leading rival programming. Research also shows that the content is "sticky," in that on-demand listeners stay on average for one hour and 28 minutes for a 60-minute show. One example: Charles Elster's dramatic reading from his novel based on words useful on SAT tests, "Test of Time," which concluded a show on college planning. More than 40 shows are on archive.

The toll-free call-in number for the show is 1-888-335-5024.

Listenership is 65 percent U.S., 35 percent international. Biggest domestic markets are: New York, New Jersey, California, Florida and Texas. Biggest international areas are: Canada, China, United Kingdom and France.

About 37 million listen to internet radio, according to Arbitron and Edison Media Research (3-25-2005), spending an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes a day. Most listen to music, but there is a core of about 1.6 million people who listen to news/talk/information radio on the internet for content that is not local. This group, about 8 percent of the U.S. population, has a heavy tendency toward an online media lifestyle, and are "early adopters" of new products.

Parent company Modavox (OTCBB: MDVX), formerly Surfnet Media (Tempe, AZ), streams more than 140 programs weekly, through its flagship VoiceAmerica.com, and a business channel, and a health channel, which includes radio legend nutritionist Gary Null. The website is http://www.voiceamerica.com.

Joseph F. Dunphy M.B.A., M.F.P. is a former financial reporter, earned his masters in corporate finance, and has experience in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurance and personal financial planning since 1990. He became a board-certified Master Financial Practitioner (M.F.P.) in March 2005, awarded by the American Academy of Financial Management. He has written and produced the audiotapes: "Financial Planning for Senior Executives: An Executive M.B.A. Seminar," (Mint Condition Graphics, ISBN 1892359022, 1995), in many business schools and universities worldwide. He produces the radio show independently.

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