Redefining public media for the future

Public media is made up of hundreds of storefronts in communities large and small, each of which has a unique window into America, its people and their stories. These storefronts — local public TV and radio stations — have built public media’s greatest asset: our unique relationships with listeners and viewers, local businesses and governments, and anchor institutions in the arts, philanthropy, education and social welfare. Yet at Public Radio Capital we increasingly hear from public media executives facing competitive and financial challenges that threaten their stations’ economic foundations and thus their effectiveness. Let’s face it: The public media business model isn’t changing. It has already changed in dramatic ways.

Kentucky public radio stations evaluate advantages of working together

Leaders of Kentucky’s public radio stations are considering how they might collaborate and consolidate operations, with a goal of cutting costs and boosting reporting on local and regional issues. Six of Kentucky’s seven public radio stations have enlisted Public Radio Capital to assess benefits of closer collaboration and to help advance the process if all agree to move ahead. Universities hold licenses to five of the stations and may need to join future negotiations as well. The state has some history of successful station mergers. In 1993, WUOL, licensed to the University of Louisville, and two stations operated by libraries merged under the auspices of the Public Radio Partnership, a newly formed community licensee.

Louisville Public Media solicits crowdfunding for series featuring short works of fiction

This item has been updated and reposted with additional information
Louisville Public Media turned to the crowdfunding website to solicit contributions for its new literary radio series Unbound, which will present short fiction read by authors. The inaugural 10-episode season of Unbound will cost $9,000 to produce, and LPM is asking the Kickstarter crowd to kick in $4,000, less than half of the budget. The remaining $5,000 is already covered by a sponsorship deal with the Bachelors and Masters Writing Programs at Spalding University in Louisville. LPM is promoting the show to Kickstarter backers as “awesome short stories read by memorable voices in new fiction.” If the campaign reaches its goal, Unbound will air on LPM and be offered as a podcast and in national syndication.

Reporters go extra mile with funds from iCrowd

… There’s a lot of hype about crowdfunding — raising production money through a website. So far, the technique hasn’t been able to support full-time journalists, much less a beat, a substantial weekly program or a newsroom. But independent journalists, public media stations, newspapers and web startups all have had successes…