Letter: “Greater Public is not retreating from digital”

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To the Editors,

I appreciate the concerns expressed by Jack Brighton in Current about changes to Digital Day. Like many of our client stations, Greater Public has wrestled with the best way to integrate digital into all that we do, as well as how to build a sustainable business model that supports our services. It was this commitment that led to our relationship with iMA, and underscores our belief in a digital future for public radio stations.

Our change in course has been driven entirely by research done with over 100 General Managers and digital executives over the past nine months as well as evaluations from this year’s conference

As we announced in August, the one-day format of Digital Day will not be repeated at next year’s PMDMC in Washington, D.C. However, we are committed to an expanded conference in 2015 that connects the revenue conversation to critical conversations around public service values, content, engagement, and technical innovation in the digital space. In his op-ed, Brighton stressed the need to “build cross-disciplinary bridges and a common vocabulary on the technologies and challenges we all now share.” These are exactly the outcomes Greater Public wishes to support and why an integrated conference, as opposed to a standalone Digital Day, is the path we are taking.

Greater Public is not retreating from digital. In fact, we are in the process of redirecting our resources to help stations grow their digital services and generate revenue to support them. As many station leaders have told us, this is the area where our services are most needed. Greater Public is responding to the station leaders who are looking to us for help integrating their stations and making complex decisions about their digital investments.

We look forward to rolling out our new services to the public media community in the near future.

Doug Eichten, Greater Public President