Radio g.m.’s adapt business models for newsgathering

Public radio is adapting too slowly to the competitive challenges it faces from Internet-based media platforms, and the pace of change must increase if local stations are to thrive in the years ahead. It’s a warning that public broadcasters have heard many times before, and research that I conducted this fall revealed that a large majority of radio station leaders have absorbed and begun acting on it. What were the most important changes you made in the last three years? Changes cited among
the 89 managers surveyed
How many cited this

Added news programming
65

Made organizational changes, including replacing a ce.o. or developing a new strategic plan
65

Invested in new media and or planned for digital convergence
39

Developed major-gift and other fundraising activities
38

Made non-news program changes
20

Took steps to “go local”
19

Developed new facilities
20

Expanded broadcast range or acquired new signals
13

Undertook promotional and community engagement activities
4

Invested in social media
3

Found and developed community partners
4

Source: Public Media Futures, November 2012 survey

In an online survey initiated in collaboration with Public Radio Regional Organizations, nearly three-quarters of 96 respondents, mostly general managers and chief executives, agreed that public radio must adapt more quickly to shifts in media consumption. Most station leaders see the expansion of local newsgathering capacity as the best strategy for bolstering their value to local listeners.