Gains & Losses at Public Media Stations: The COVID edition

It has been three years since the emergence of COVID-19 and its impact on global life. To understand how the pandemic affected public media’s financial health, we analyzed station Annual Financial Report (AFR) data from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help uncover recent trends in public radio and television finances. Our analysis has found that overall revenue is higher than ever before...

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Signal Acquisition as an Expansion Strategy

The pandemic has led to softer demand and declines in prices for radio signals, which is resulting in signals coming up for sale in markets across the country. For example, WXXI recently acquired a commercial FM radio signal that used to broadcast jazz in Rochester from a local entrepreneur for a combination of cash and a charitable contribution from the seller. Given market conditions...

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Station Sales Cooled by COVID

Public Media Company’s review of radio station sales data shows that COVID-19 has made a significant impact on transactions in the noncommercial radio market – both on the number of stations sold and the total value of those sales. 112 noncommercial stations changed hands in 2019 but that number dropped to 90 in 2020 and to just 68 in 2021. Number of Noncommercial Radio...

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KERA and City of Dallas reach agreement to preserve venerable classical station in Texas

KERA to Operate WRR 101.1 FM In the summer of 2021, the City of Texas released an RFP to find an operator for the City’s commercial classical music station, WRR, also known as Texas’s first radio station, dating back to 1921. Public Media Company was hired by North Texas Public Broadcasting (KERA) to navigate the station through the selection process to ensure WRR’s long-term...

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Operating Agreements Reach 1 in 4 Americans

Millions of Americans are served by broadcast signals managed under a public service operating agreement (or PSOA). These arrangements provide public media organizations with operating responsibility for a station that is licensed to another entity such as a city, tribe, university, college, or school district. PSOAs are a well-established arrangement for many stations across the country, providing benefits for both the license holder and...

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Public Media Company helps Baltimore’s NPR station negotiate a Joint Operating Agreement with local news start-up, The Baltimore Banner

When philanthropist Stewart Bainum Jr. was unable to buy the Baltimore Sun from Alden Global Capital in 2020, a new plan emerged – Bainum announced intentions to fund the creation of The Baltimore Banner, a digital news site that will cover the city as the new corporate owners of the Baltimore Sun reduce local reporting on the community to boost operating profits. The Baltimore Banner...

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Public Media Company’s Commitment to DEI

At Public Media Company, we value a diverse and inclusive culture and are committed to diversity in all areas of our work. Taking this commitment as the guiding principle, Public Media Company created a DEI Committee consisting of five PMC team members. We, the committee members, volunteered to share our experiences openly and help move the organization forward. We were charged with three key...

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Public Media Company Hosts Its Semi-Annual Board Meeting and a Reception for Local Nonprofit Media Leaders

Public Media Company rotates its semi-annual board meetings around the country and tends to meet where our most recent activity has occurred. We recently hosted our board meeting in Chicago, the site of one of the most celebrated local media developments in recent memory, in which Public Media Company played a crucial advisory role. While always a city for innovation in media, the work...

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Strong Collaborative Journalism Networks Start with a Sustainable Business Plan

In the past five years, several public media journalism collaborations have emerged around the country. These collaborations have focused on reporting stories of interest to the regions, like the Gulf States Newsroom or New England News Collaborative. The news networks are state-focused, like journalism collaborations in Kentucky, Texas, and California. Public Media Company played a critical role in helping these journalism collaborations get started by...

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Public Media Co Partners with Iowa Public Radio to Ensure News and Information for the Next 100 Years

In the digital age, as media has become more diffuse, complex, and expensive to produce, it’s been critical to building local media enterprises that are big enough to provide services to a broad community at a sustainable cost.  One of the best examples of this trend is Iowa, where Iowa Public Radio celebrates its 100th anniversary serving Iowan’s news and cultural programs. Originally, 25+...

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