Localore “fires up local networks,” AIR’s Schardt says in CJR

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The Columbia Journalism Review calls Localore “an innovative financing model may change the face of public radio” in an article out today.

The project, which pairs independent producers with stations and began rolling out in September 2011, is the brainchild of the Association of Independents in Radio. AIR recently partnered with the Independent Television Service for a new round of funding for initiatives including Black Gold Boom.

In the CJR piece, AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt said the project is working to transform the funding model for the pubradio system. “Most stations are really hermetically sealed,” she told the magazine. “They’re focused on Morning Edition and All Things Considered; those two shows are what the entire [radio] economy is built around. Everything else is window dressing; that’s been the model for 30 years.”

Localore has “laid an infrastructure for outside investment in public radio,” the article notes, and Schardt said one lesson of the project is the importance of local investors. “That fires up local networks, and the radio station becomes a hub for churches, small businesses, libraries, and bars,” she said. “Localore [and] these networks, within local communities, had a shared value proposition, which totally redefines what the radio station is. It becomes a leader, in some ways, of urban rebirth or revitalization.”

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