WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, announced six public media stations were selected to participate in WBUR’s BizLab initiative to design and conduct revenue experiments for public radio in the digital age.
The project is funded with $750,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
According to a WBUR release, each station will work with WBUR’s BizLab for six months, using lean, user-centered design methodologies to identify and test new sources of revenue for that station. “By engaging audiences and testing concepts in-market, each station will generate quantitative results to inform their near-term strategic investments. Collaborating stations will share results and best practices with each other and the broader public radio system.”
The selected stations are:
WAMU, American University Radio, Washington D.C.
Louisville Public Media (WFPL, WFPK, WUOL), Louisville, KY
Capital Public Radio, Sacramento, CA
WLRN-FM, Public Radio for South Florida and the Florida Keys, Miami, FL
Vermont Public Radio, Colchester, VT
WDET-FM, Detroit’s Public Radio Station, Detroit, MI
The stations will be evaluating revenue models across a broad spectrum of ideas, looking at hyper-local versus state-wide engagement, small business partnerships versus corporate sponsorship arrangements, and digital-only membership versus in-person events. As the stations launch and learn, they will each share outcomes to benefit all public media stations seeking new revenue models.