NEW ORLEANS — CPB is considering a proposal to allocate $3 million annually over six years to support collaboration among public radio stations, with the amount to be drawn from Community Service Grant incentive funds. The money would support upwards of 20 collaborations among 80 or so stations, each of which would receive an additional $70,000 to $90,000 annually. That financial boost would help stations develop content, streamline operations, plan technology and infrastructure, and undertake other collaborative activities. The program would start in fiscal year 2015 at the earliest. By encouraging collaboration, CPB hopes to “unleash the potential of the network effect,” said Bruce Theriault, senior v.p. of radio, at the Public Radio Regional Organizations Super-Regional Meeting in New Orleans Nov.
In response to media outages after recent disasters elsewhere, the CoastAlaska pubradio group has built two compact portable FM stations for use by pubcasters in the state, called Radio to Go. The nonprofit, which serves seven stations from Juneau, developed the portable kit to go into service within minutes after arriving at a site. The two units, to be stored in separate communities, can be carried by Coast Guard helicopter, commercial flight or ship. Each unit costs about $10,000, including shipping cases, a 150-watt FM radio transmitter, CD players, a digital audio recorder, radio tuner, mixer and microphones, cables, transmitting antenna and mast.