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Chart Beat Podcast: News Director Shirley Halperin on How Billboard Covers the Music Industry

The latest episode of the Chart Beat Podcast brings you right into our newsroom, as Billboard news director (and The Hollywood Reporter music editor) Shirley Halperin chats with co-director of charts and host Gary Trust about the mind-set behind covering, analyzing and presenting news about the music business.

"I think we go out of our way to make it so that someone who is an industry expert and [someone] who might be new to the industry can both read the same article and both get something out of it," Halperin says.

Notably, much of this episode centers on how Billboard wrote about the January death of David Bowie, although it doesn't include the passing of Prince, as it was taped the day before Prince died, April 21. Sadly, the same lessons applied when the news staff then went about producing the latest issue (dated May 7), which shifted to an in-depth Prince tribute starting as soon as word arrived that he had unexpectedly died. "First of all, it was just getting the package to be in the magazine that week," Halperin says specifically of the January Bowie-focused issue, before the drill was, unfortunately, repeated last week. "To rip up the magazine completely, do a million interviews with people who worked with him or people who knew him, who could speak about who he was on a personal level, it was like … all hands."

Previous episodes:
Chart Beat Founder Paul Grein / Fred Bronson on His 'Billboard Book of Number One Hits' / Hit Songs Deconstructed Analyzes Drake & Selena Gomez Smashes / WTBU's Anne Donohue on What Makes College Radio Great / Curb Records Founder Mike Curb on More Than 50 Years of Making Hits

Check out the latest Chart Beat Podcast and stay tuned for more upcoming episodes with label execs, radio programmers, songwriters, producers and more, all with the goal of analyzing why what's on the charts … is on the charts.

And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!