Originally published: October 13, 2010
Last updated: October 13, 2010 - 2:00pm
Four leading public radio stations have meeting frequently, forming an ad hoc "alliance for public media," and they've got big plans. The largest notion: Expand regional "public media" news operations to 100 reporters and editors per market in four to six markets -- and soon.
That's "public radio" grown into "public media", meaning that these news operations would be digital-first, text-heavy and video-ready, while porting over the audio from radio. In other words, not re-purposed "radio" news, but the kind of standalone, multi-platform news operations we're starting to see, as with TBD in Washington (DC). The initial four stations involved in the alliance planning are WNYC in New York, WBEZ in Chicago, KPCC in Los Angeles and Minnesota Public Radio, in the Twin Cities, says Bill Kling, president and CEO of the American Public Media Group (APMG), the parent of the LA and Twin Cities stations, as well as a major syndicator of public radio programming. One hundred "public media" reporters and editors in a market is a huge increase. Among those four stations, the news staff now ranges from 12 to 30 each. It's tough to count precisely because these are legacy radio operations, and radio requires different job descriptions than digital news. Still, at those numbers, the alliance members are aiming at adding more than 300 reporters and editors in four markets, if the plans succeed. Kling says the positions created "would be a very good job for people who love journalism," in the six figures with full benefits.
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