WGBH, the top producer of PBS programs, now owns Public Radio International

In a move signalling its ambitions to extend its clout and influence in public radio, Boston's WGBH has acquired Public Radio International, the Minnesota-based program distributor of radio programs such as This American Life, The World and The Takeaway. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the sale will help to stabilize the nonprofit program distributor PRI, which ran an operating deficit of $2 million in 2011, according to PRI spokesperson Julia Yager. "This is a deal borne out of shared visions," Yager said in an interview with Current. PRI began examining its options last year as its leadership considered the implications of various funding scenarios for public media. PRI looked for partners to help it continue distributing radio programming and found that WGBH was best aligned with its own mission and values. Continue Reading

MPT hires new v.p., Sill to be KPCC’s executive editor, three Illinois pubcasters retire, and more…

Rick Lore is Maryland Public Television’s new v.p. and chief development officer
Lore is responsible for membership, on-air fundraising, major and planned giving, publications, outreach and community engagement at the state network headquartered in Owings Mills. Lore joined MPT on an interim basis last fall after Joe Krushinsky left his job as v.p. of institutional advancement. Krushinsky now directs station development services at PBS. Previously Lore served as executive director of Friends of Milwaukee Public Television, the fundraising affiliate of Milwaukee Public TV; directed  on-air fundraising for PBS; and led development at New Hampshire Public Television. Lore, who began his pubTV career in 1989 in San Jose, Calif., has won eight PBS development awards and is a frequent conference speaker. Continue Reading

PRI adapted Studio 360 segment for an iPad book.

For its foray into e-book publishing, Public Radio International chose “Teacher Redesign,” in which a New York design firm created a branding campaign on behalf of the nation’s educators, and adapted it for Apple’s iPad. The iBook features 32 pages of content adapted from the Studio 360 episode, produced as part of its ongoing series on graphic design and cultural symbolism. With its strong visual elements, the program was naturally suited for the iPad, according to Peter Edstrom, a project manager for PRI. “Our core content is audio, but we’re continuing to experiment with different ways to get PRI content out to people.”

The electronic book is free for download on Apple’s iBookstore. It features slideshows, photos that can be manipulated, diagrams, embedded videos and text. Continue Reading