Radio g.m.’s adapt business models for newsgathering

Public radio is adapting too slowly to the competitive challenges it faces from Internet-based media platforms, and the pace of change must increase if local stations are to thrive in the years ahead. It’s a warning that public broadcasters have heard many times before, and research that I conducted this fall revealed that a large majority of radio station leaders have absorbed and begun acting on it. What were the most important changes you made in the last three years? Changes cited among
the 89 managers surveyed
How many cited this

Added news programming
65

Made organizational changes, including replacing a ce.o. or developing a new strategic plan
65

Invested in new media and or planned for digital convergence
39

Developed major-gift and other fundraising activities
38

Made non-news program changes
20

Took steps to “go local”
19

Developed new facilities
20

Expanded broadcast range or acquired new signals
13

Undertook promotional and community engagement activities
4

Invested in social media
3

Found and developed community partners
4

Source: Public Media Futures, November 2012 survey

In an online survey initiated in collaboration with Public Radio Regional Organizations, nearly three-quarters of 96 respondents, mostly general managers and chief executives, agreed that public radio must adapt more quickly to shifts in media consumption. Most station leaders see the expansion of local newsgathering capacity as the best strategy for bolstering their value to local listeners.

To save journalism, click ’n’ donate?

Now a dot-com called Kachingle is starting to roll out an online service designed to make voluntary support easy for even the most Internet-dazed, pledge-averse, marginally committed and low-budgeted Medici to virtually toss coins, or dollars, to reward the online media they love and appreciate.

Consultant to CPB: Public broadcasting is worth billions to the public

If public broadcasting loses its federal aid, it’s “highly unlikely” that it will recover the same amounts by increasing revenues from product licensing, individual contributors or local and state governments, an economics consulting firm reported back to CPB last week. Moreover, “the nature of public broadcasting will inevitably change” if the field loses its federal assistance, according to National Economic Research Associates, a White Plains, N.Y., firm that presented conclusions of its CPB-commissioned study to the CPB Board on March 14. Steven Schwartz, v.p. of NERA, also estimated that public broadcasting has a value of $2.8 billion to $4.3 billion to the American public–far more than the $1.8 billion from all sources that are spent on it, or the $285 million that Congress appropriated for this year. The study responded to remarks by public broadcasting’s opponents on the CPB funding issue, who contend that the field could easily replace the federal aid. No easy options
Revenues from product licensing are “too small and uncertain to be relied upon,” Schwartz told the CPB Board.