By expanding service across multiple channels and platforms, public radio offers more programming choices, increases
the diversity of content, and improves the accessibility of both
existing and new services. This increases public radio's public
service and, in turn, its financial support.
A Portfolio Strategy
Public radio is well into a new network age for electronic media. Content flows across multiple, interconnected pathways. Regulatory and capital barriers to media technologies are shifting. Individuals assert their increasing ability to choose, control, engage with, and create their media experiences. The new network is the Internet, "new media," "mobile," and more. It is an attitude that leaps across traditional categories and pushes at boundaries between creators, presenters, and users.
Within this evolving electronic architecture it is clear that the dominant dimension of public radio's service and the greatest near-term opportunities to increase value and use are in broadcasting –
terrestrially-based radio signals that are omnipresent and freely available to everyone. As we move into the second decade of the 21st century, public radio is reaching the largest broadcast audiences in its history, some 35 million Americans using public radio each week, over 1.7 million listeners tuned in at an average moment through the day. Even incremental improvements in this performance will affect huge numbers of people; more substantive change built on this foundation is all the more powerful.
By pursuing a portfolio strategy that cuts across technologies public radio can seize extraordinary opportunities to make its great content more broadly and easily accessible, to engage with people in new ways, and to enlarge its public service offerings to communities and the nation.
Public media organizations need innovative approaches to capture additional broadcast delivery capacity, from acquisitions to operating agreements. These papers offer a perspective and practical advice.
Building Delivery Capacity Marc Hand, now Managing Director of Public Radio Capital, provides a sweeping review of strategies, tactics, and policies that will lead to more broadcast capacity for public radio.
Acquiring a Station A quick overview of the steps involved in acquiring a broadcast station.
Operating Agreements A growing number of public media organizations are operating stations that remain licensed to other organizations. This can be a win-win solution that allows the ambitious operator to create more service while the license holder retains the broadcast "real estate."
Resolving Mutually Exclusive Applications There are still some frequencies available for which nonprofit organizations can apply through periodic "filing windows" at the FCC. These opportunities often result in mutually exclusive applications, for which the FCC has devised a detailed process to pick the winners.
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