Lesson from WMUB: more stations must “back away” from subsidies

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Too many public radio stations rely on subsidies from government and/or their university licensees, writes pubradio marketing consultant John Sutton, offering WMUB-FM in Oxford, Ohio, as a case in point. Miami University can no longer afford to operate WMUB as an independent station and on Jan. 22 announced a pending agreement to convert the outlet into a repeater of Cincinnati Public Radio’s NPR News service. “Maybe this is the future of public radio,” Sutton writes on his blog. “The consolidation of costs by having fewer independent operations is an option.” If localism is as important to the future of public radio as many say it is, then more stations need to “back away from the subsidy trough” and take steps toward financial “self-sufficiency,” Sutton writes. He calls on CPB to help lead the way.

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