ATLANTA — DEI, the membership organization that supports development and fundraising work at public radio stations, has changed its name to Greater Public. President Doug Eichten announced the change during the opening session of the Public Media Development and Marketing Conference, which runs through Saturday at the downtown Omni Hotel. “[T]he nature and pace of change in the media landscape now is so dramatic that we believe our industry is at a true inflection point,” Eichten said. “Greater Public is committed to providing new levels of leadership and resources for public media organizations to move forward.”
The new name signals Greater Public’s intention to broaden its membership to include more public television stations and to develop collaborations among different types of public-service media organizations, including nonprofit news outlets. It also plans to produce special offerings in leadership development and training, including for lay leaders who serve on station boards.
DEI gives its Benchmarks Award each year to a consistently top-performing station in terms of net revenue per hour of listening. While the median station raises .95 cents in underwriting revenue per listener-hour, HPR last year sold 2.25 cents per listener-hour — all handled by HPR’s single underwriting salesperson. In presenting the award, Robin Turnau, president and c.e.o. of Vermont Public Radio and DEI treasurer, cited HPR’s peculiar challenges. “Their location is one of the top vacation destinations in the world. They deal daily with the challenges of serving a transient population, while raising funds from a permanent listenership where the local median income is only modest, while the cost of living is extraordinarily high,” said Turnau, noting that HPR’s net-revenue-per-listener-hour stat put it in the top 10 percent of DEI surveys for both membership and mid-level giving.
NPR Digital Services is negotiating with an unidentified vendor to provide cloud-computing products to member stations, potentially transforming the ways they manage their membership programs and relationships with audiences. Bob Kempf, chief of the Boston-based NPR unit, would not identify the vendor, but acknowledges that NPR has been in close negotiations with roundCorner, a three-year-old company that specializes in designing customer relationship management (CRM) systems for nonprofit organizations. He aims to have a master services agreement with a third-party vendor in place by the end of the year, and launch a pilot program with as many as 10 stations in early 2013. NPR’s goal, he says, is to offer all member stations the opportunity to buy a license to a cloud-based, customizable CRM product later next year. “We are not building a single platform in the sky for stations to sign on to,” Kempf says.
A former top editor of the Los Angeles Times, Russ Stanton, has joined APM’s Los Angeles station
KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., announced a major hire last week: Former Los Angeles Times Editor Russ Stanton has joined the station as its new v.p. of content. Stanton’s arrival “is part of an aggressive effort by the nonprofit news organization to become the preeminent regional source for both broadcast and online news — with deeper, more enterprising and investigative coverage,” KPCC declared on its website. Stanton had left the newspaper last month in what was announced as a “mutual decision” with Times President Kathy Thomson. In his four years at the helm, the Times won three Pulitzer Prizes, including a prestigious Public Service award. At KPCC, Stanton will be responsible for the station’s broadcast, website and live events coverage; one of his first duties will be to select an executive editor to supervise daily radio and digital news operations.
Next year’s Public Media Development and Marketing Conference, the annual event organized by pubradio’s Development Exchange Inc., will include a new track for pubTV professionals, produced by PBS. The conference runs July 12-14 in Seattle. The track will focus on pledge practices, fundraising and community engagement around children’s programming, and television-specific research. DEI and PBS announced the collaboration in a statement Dec. 6.
New Hampshire Public Radio was cited for outstanding performance in fundraising. NHPR, based in Concord, ranks among the most efficient public radio outlets in converting listeners into givers, and it raises more net underwriting revenue per listener-hour than peer stations, according to DEI’s Benchmarks analysis, which evaluates fundraising performance across the public radio system. The New Hampshire network’s achievements in major-gift fundraising are especially impressive, according to Joan Kobayashi, g.m. of KMFA in Austin, Texas, who announced the award this summer during DEI’s Public Media Development and Marketing Conference in Pittsburgh. NHPR’s program for soliciting donations of $1,000 and higher has increased its revenues 60 percent over the past five years. The gains are especially notable because New Hampshire ranks near the bottom of all 50 states in charitable giving, she said.