Edwards appoints NPR programming panel

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KPCC President Bill Davis will chair a task force of public radio programmers, researchers and news execs analyzing programming opportunities and economics for NPR, Board Chair Dave Edwards announced today.

“[T]here are some dayparts that have traditionally underachieved in their ability to attract an audience,” Edwards wrote in his Dec. 13 memo to NPR member stations. “The economics of new program development also remain a challenge.” Another role for the task force will be to articulate “the role that NPR and stations can play” in programming opportunities.

“This work will be very helpful in guiding the NPR Board on future investments in programming,” Edwards wrote.

Prior to joining American Public Media’s KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., Davis was senior v.p. of programming at NPR. One focus of his work was addressing problems with under-performing midday shows.

Also serving on the task force are George Bailey of Walrus Research and four station programmers: Lynn Clendenin, Oregon Public Broadcasting; Ron Jones, Detroit’s WDET; Hawk Mendenhall, KUT in Austin, Texas; and, Steve Schram, Michigan Radio. NPR staff on the panel include: chief researcher Lori Kaplan; programmers Margaret Low Smith and Eric Nuzum; station relations chief Joyce MacDonald; Ellen McDonnell, executive director of news programming; and Keith Woods, v.p. for diversity in news and operations.

Edwards, who serves on the NPR Board as g.m. of Milwaukee Public Radio, is also a member of the task force. He announced his intention to convene the panel last month, just moments after his election as NPR chair.