Prominent Kentucky investor Ed Hart and his wife, Gaylee Gillim, have given a challenge grant of $250,000 to Louisville Public Media to fund a new investigative-journalism center, LPM announced Monday.
The proposed Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting would have a projected three-year budget of $1.5 million, with the challenge grant to cover half of the first year’s budget contingent on LPM raising an additional $250,000. The center will be staffed by a managing editor and four reporters and will focus on coverage relevant to the state and region, with stories distributed through multiple platforms and partnerships with yet-to-be-named news organizations.
“It is my great hope that others will join with me in providing financial support to the new center so it will have the resources and staff it needs long term to bolster the fourth estate in our community and ‘speak truth to power,’” Hart said in a press release.
LPM operates Louisville’s three public radio stations: WFPL, WFPK and WUOL. Donovan Reynolds, president and g.m. of LPM, added in the release that LPM will seek matching funds from foundations, individuals and corporate donors.
Hart recently made headlines in Kentucky for his efforts to revive the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park, which he used to own. Through the Kentucky Kingdom Revelopment Company, Hart announced a $120 million investment in the park Oct. 22, one year after suing the state of Kentucky in an attempt to recoup $1.4 million it had spent in a previous failed effort to revive the park.