NPR factors ‘mixed response’ from client stations into plans for Digital Services

With contract negotiations looming this fall, leaders at NPR member stations are getting increasingly vocal about what they see as shortcomings of the products offered by NPR Digital Services. In 2011, NPR leaders convinced the majority of stations large and small to sign a three-year agreement for the newly formed unit to provide a fixed slate of tools and services for online streaming, website design and donation management. With the contract term ending Sept. 30, station leaders are raising questions and concerns about the offerings and whether to renew the contract as-is. A recent informal survey of heads of 30 stations gathered mixed reviews of the package of technology tools and services designed to help stations distribute and publish news reports and other online content.

Four more stations join NPR’s Facebook geotargeting project

NPR Digital Services has added four stations to its Local Stories Project, in which participants submit stories to be included on NPR’s Facebook page and geotargeted to Facebook users in their markets. The project launched a little over a year ago with KPLU in Tacoma, Wash., and has since expanded to include 18 stations. Stations submit online stories that are shared via NPR’s Facebook page but appear only in the News Feeds of users in each station’s market. In April the project drove 114,000 visits to station sites, according to NPR. The four new participants are WXPN in Philadelphia, KUER in Salt Lake City, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho and KALW in San Francisco.