Public radio could easily be described as a smashing success story. Take NPR, for example. From its counter-cultural roots in the early 1970s, it has grown to become one of the most trusted sources of journalism in the United States. Although it still is accused of liberal bias, an equal number of liberals and conservatives find themselves drawn to its reassuring sound. So – what’s the problem? Like newspapers and symphony orchestras, public radio has a graying audience and it is having trouble attracting younger people and minorities. So today, in order to stay viable, public radio’s job is to reach out to new listeners. But at what cost, if any?
ThoughtCast attended the Public Radio Program Directors Association conference this September in Hollywood, and spoke with:
Jeff Hansen, program director at KUOW in Seattle
Mike Crane, COO of Wisconsin Public Radio
John Voci, the general manager of WGBH radio in Boston
Jennifer Ferro, assistant general manager of KCRW in Santa Monica
Sam Fleming, managing director of news and programs at WBUR, Boston
Chris Bannon, program director of WNYC in New York City.