I'm a "producer" of the No Agenda Show. Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak often talk about the corrupting influence advertising has on modern media and so therefore can't really run ads and have any integrity. It's not always a great show, but it is good enough most of the time to get me through my long commute. They also actively engage listeners and have created a community around the show. They use custom artwork, contributed by listeners for every show. A lot of it is quite good, very professional looking artwork. They encourage you to share the program, and seed Bit torrent with it. The server space is contributed, as is maintenance/moderation of the IRC chat room and live stream. If you donate enough you get recognition during the episode if you like, and there are various rewards that you receive in return for supporting the show. And they occasionally have meet-ups (put together by listeners, not by Curry or Dvorak) where fellow "producers" get together. Other podcasts do some of the same things but for the most part they seem to just recreate the same old talk radio format, just with a cheaper distribution channel. And of course they are beholden to the sponsors, who can destroy a podcast with one phone call.
The traditional way of producing audio and video, along with expecting to pay for it through ad revenue, is dead except for sports and big blockbuster films. The expense of paying for board operators and production people backing up talent (and in the case of NPR and other traditional media outlets producers, editors and copywriters), isn't going to be sustainable when your download rates are measured in the hundreds of thousands and ad responses are under single digit percentages. Direct payment and community building around your production are what will drive media in the future. Sure, Curry's skill as a DJ and audio engineer comes in handy when producing since he can act as a board op and talent, but as audio production tools improve opportunities for novice podcasters will follow. What's really going to be difficult is video podcasting because we're still not able to produce a convincing virtual set, but with all that retail space opening up in the post-amazon retail world, maybe someone will figure that out too.