WNYC’s new feature lets listeners create, download playlists

New York Public Radio’s WNYC recently beefed up its mobile app with a personalization feature allowing users to generate playlists of news content that can be downloaded for listening on the subway or places where their phones go offline. The “Discover” feature of the WNYC mobile app lets listeners curate stories about topics that interest them — such as technology, pop culture or movies — into playlists of lengths ranging from 20 minutes to three hours long. The app pulls both local and national news stories, downloading batches of segments for later listening. The feature was designed to target the city’s subway riders, said Thomas Hjelm, chief digital officer at New York Public Radio. “It started with the thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app you could use for a 30-minute subway trip?’”, he said.

NYPR looking to boost coverage for classical station

New York Public Radio has applied to the FCC to acquire 90.3 FM in Ossining, N.Y., from community licensee Hudson Valley Community Radio for $400,000. The broadcaster plans to use the new signal as a repeater for WQXR, its classical music station airing on 105.9 FM in New York City. Ossining is about 40 miles north of the city, on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. The addition of 90.3 FM would expand WQXR’s reach to areas of Westchester County that were within its coverage area when it was owned by the New York Times. NYPR’s 2009 purchase of WQXR was a three-way transaction with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision that involved moving the classical station to a weaker signal.