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This Week in Public Radio: April 7, 2020

Last month, PRX ran a brief survey that sought to figure out how producers were being affected by the widespread shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic. In a recent blog post, they found that “more than 80% of producers have already been impacted, with nearly 15% reporting they’ve needed to cease or postpone production.”

Check out that post in full, by the way. The piece, written by PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman, offers a view into how a major public media organization has been affected by the pandemic — among other things, the org had canceled a planned 3% increase in station fees — and how it’s adapting its various efforts as a response to new needs and the new environment.

The post also comes with a philosophical call-to-action. “None of us want this moment,” Hoffman wrote. “But having arrived here, are there opportunities to not just get through it, but to make the kind of changes that begin to shape a new future for public media?”

Meanwhile, elsewhere in public radio…

  • NPR has appointed a new Chief Marketing Officer: Michael Smith, a veteran of Scripps Networks Interactive, where he most recently held the position of SVP, GM Digital Video Channels until late 2018.
  • The public radio mothership also announced a new public editor through a partnership with Poynter: Kelly McBride, an SVP at Poynter and Chair of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership. In an interesting bit of timing, McBride’s name also popped up in other media story yesterday, this one about the seemingly non-amicable exit of Hollywood Reporter editorial director Matthew Beloni, which came, as the Los Angeles Times reported, after “Valence Media, The Hollywood Reporter’s parent company, had been working with the Poynter Institute for the last 18 months over how to maintain editorial independence and provide ethics training.”
  • Keeping an eye on this thread. From Current: “Consultants and development executives say public media’s underwriting income is in jeopardy as businesses absorb substantial financial losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”