Tuesday, January 18, 2005

It's The Economy... Part One

Some random thoughts about how public radio does business.

* Public radio can accomplish anything it wants to as long as its economic model is adjusted along the way. Morning Edition on the satellite in real time? Some station listeners will choose satellite over local, but with the right business model, the program and local stations would still thrive.

* Underwriting income exceeds listener contributions at many stations. Public radio is also getting close to the point where national underwriting income to networks could exceed station fees. It’s a significant shift from grass roots funding to marketplace funding. The industry would do well to discuss the implications.

* One reason it’s not all that easy to be a station manager is having to manage five or more disparate revenue streams – individual giving, major donors, foundation grants, licensee or government subsidies, and underwriting sales. There are others but those are the big ones. There aren’t too many businesses that require managers to be good at so many different ways of generating income.

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